March starts at Middle East University in Amman, ends at Aqaba castle

By Johanna Montanari – Oct 31,2019

AMMAN — Young people on Wednesday set off on this year’s Climate March, which will take them 300 kilometres in total walking from Amman to Aqaba, to highlight the role of Jordanian youth in establishing an environmentally safe future.

“This is the fourth time we organised the Climate March,” said Haya Alghrair, this year’s Climate March coordinator and the secretary of Green Generation Foundation, in an interview with The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

Green Generation Foundation is the initiator and main organiser of the march, which is being held in cooperation with the Middle East University (MEU) under the title “Sustainable Green Action”.

Green Generation Foundation was established in 2014 as a youth environmental organisation aiming to “empower a new generation” able to “understand ongoing global environmental changes”, according to the organisation’s Facebook page.

On Wednesday evening, the climate march set out from MEU’s campus in a launch ceremony attended by participants, organisers and supporting organisations.

The ceremony included speeches and a short sketch displaying how human action has destroyed the environment, said Alghrair.

According to the MEU, “60 university students, walking enthusiasts, and youth” are now walking from Amman through Madaba, Al Mujib, Karak, and Maan on the King’s Highway to eventually arrive in Aqaba on Monday.

“As an international student, I think it is important to advocate for the environment, which is housing me and taking care of me, and to join Jordanians in their efforts,” US-American student Ryan Mackler, who is participating in the march, told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

“I am interested in how civil society in Jordan is combatting the effects of climate change. I hope to learn a lot from fellow participants,” said Alexander Gunnerson, another international student from the US, also taking part in the march.

“Each day we have a certain stop and a camping station,” said Alghrair, adding: “We walk about 50 kilometres per day.”

The march is also prepared for eventual rainfall, in cooperation with Al Arab weather, which provides the group with an updated weather forecast every two hours, according to Alghrair.

The march will end at the Aqaba castle on Monday, she added.

“Since the first year, we have faced a lot of challenges, also in regards to acceptance by the communities. People didn’t understand why we march,” the coordinator recounted.

“Back then, we didn’t find a lot of organisations that supported us. This definitely changed,” she said.