A couple of months ago, I was driving to Agadir, a beautiful city in the south of Morocco, while a neighbor of mine was in the passenger seat devouring a sandwich and drinking lemonade. When he ate up everything, he proudly opened his window  and shamelessly threw away his leftovers, a lemonade can and a plastic bag. I immediately pulled over.

Shocked, I said “what have you done? Are you crazy?”

He was baffled and instantly replied ” Are you ok? What’s going on? What’s wrong?”

I said ” Nothing, just get in the car. Forget about it”

I could try to help him see what he did, but instead I decided to turn the other cheek. If I told you he was illiterate, you would surely recognize the reason why. 

At that moment I learnt that protecting environment cannot be done unless we teach people how to read and write first. I think it perfectly makes sense; priority should be given to the human capital and the latter will take care of the rest.

Amazingly after some time from this incident, I came across this wonderful MedStory Prize 2019 initiative taken by RootedEveryday Foundation. This contest successfully stressed that preserving natural resources around the world cannot be practically and truly done unless we start by developing literacy and raising the new generations’ awareness that little things matter. Saving our biodiversity and preserving nature need this kind of initiatives which aim at enhancing students’ writing and reading skills along with raising their awareness of the huge importance of living in harmony with nature.

On this occasion, I would like to express my immense pleasure and honor to be one of the readers that are chosen by the organizing committee to read the participants’ stories. I am looking forward to receiving some wonderful deep ones.

About Ail Amhal

Ail Amhal has been teaching English since 2007 and is involved in many activities that promote EFL in Morocco. He is an active member of the Morocco Library Project and MoRCE-Net  (both are NGOs aimed at spreading love for reading). Ali attends seminars and conferences on ELT issues and trends regularly and gas also experience in leading workshops and presentations about various teaching-related matters.

Sheep to Combat Climate Change

Asociación Trashumancia y Naturaleza collaborated with the city council of Madrid to organise the annual Fiesta de la Trashumancia Madrid 2019 (Transhumance Festival)—which saw 1800 sheep and 200 goats pass through the centre of Spain’s capital city. The event, now in its 26th year, was successful in creating awareness on the importance of maintaining this ancestral practice of which Spain is a global example and that is a very valuable tool in the fight against climate change and rural depopulation, among other benefits.

Travelling with Birds

In September last year, we set out to observe and learn about migratory birds and their flight paths. Joined by local and international bird experts, we worked alongside the Hima Hammana community to observe the birds that flew overhead, while learning from the experts about bird monitoring processes.

Two Reports on Mobile Pastoralism in the Mediterranean

Mobile pastoralism is a major traditional cultural practice in the Mediterranean and a unique example of the constant interaction between humans and nature. Being entirely different in essence to intensive livestock production systems, this practice offers the most sustainable way to make the most of the Mediterranean’s rangelands.

Meet the Winner of 2019 Rooted Everyday #MedStoryPrize

Sophia Sifaki from Greece is the winner of the first Mediterranean environmental-themed short story prize with her story The Treasure. Sifaki’s story The Treasure spins an enchanting conservation tale in which a young doctor arrives on the small Greek island of...

Greek School Girls Win First Environment-Themed Short Story Prize

“It was with great joy that I took up the role of the judge on the students’ writing competition. I was caught up in pleasant surprise when I received and read their works, only to discover their true writing potential! All of the young participants, and especially the ones who won, produced exceptional stories, with flowing language and full of imaginative ideas. I felt like I was instantly carried over to Lemnos island, looked upon its landscape, smelled its fragrance and saw its inhabitants."

The Missing Message by Faiza Lhbabi

The Missing Message is a story about a group of animal friends living in a beautiful forest. However, the forest trees are losing their green colour and the river that was once flowing through the forest has completely dried up. The animals are worried to die of thirst. One morning, they all gather to discuss how they are going to survive and if people will be able to help them...