Youth Making Waves: Mohammed Wahabi

A Flash from the Memory

    Ever since I was a child, as curious as all children, my curiosity towards the sea could never be satiated. Having so many questions but no answers seemed to further increase my curiosity. I was born into a family with an ill-fated relationship with the sea; my mom would shiver for the only thought of it, overly protective in our very limited trips to the ocean. Her fear goes back to the indelible painful memory of my brother drowning, she, at that time, startled and weak in the knees, clinging onto the hope of him being alive, was waiting for him to pop up from the blue vague mass of rolling water before her teary eyes, but he was nowhere to be seen. I still vividly remember the chaos, the crowd, the shouting, the fainting, the potential saviors rushing into the water, the inquiring heads popping up here and there, the antiheros stripping their clothes off, me pushing my way through the rabble, my heart consumed by the same boundless terror...

My brother is now a married man with four kids... he survived, and the sea still beholds within my family an image of distrust and outrage. They blamed the sea for the incident, whereas the real culprit was my brother, whose boastful and mischievous actions pushed him to venture into what he couldn’t handle with his poor swimming skills. I knew very early that they were all wrong, but I had no power to stand up and defend the beloved sea.  Later on, not failing to notice the way human beings have tarnished the beautiful sea of my childhood, I could only stick to my old perception. The only difference between now and then for me is that as soon as I could get involved in any way possible to help the oceans, I wouldn’t hesitate. I am no longer that powerless kid.

A Reader of the Ocean

I grew up reading the book One Thousand and One Nights. Gasped with wonder, I was entranced by the presence of the ocean in the stories. There it was more than a setting; it was a story itself. I knew, deep in my heart, that behind the conceived rage lays a beautiful creature, a flow of metaphors and paradoxes, a divine symphony, a universe of conjuring dreams and inspiration, and secrets that time alone would reveal. Me being an aspiring writer now has a lot to do with the sea, the old sea from my memories, unfortunately, it no longer feels the same. It feels different, oppressed and in pain. I believe that all we need is to open our hearts to be able to delve into the depths of the ocean, to see the history beneath it, the rare beauty incarnated in its blue mesmerizing space, to read wisdom that uncover higher truths to us.

 An Activist 

I have been involved in environmental actions since middle school, through taking part in campaigns, performing plays and writing articles, my growing passion for the protection of the environment led me to join a beautiful community. A very significant experience that brought me fully to the college life, and introduced me to fascinating people who share the same interests as me. Together we form a green family, under the layout of an on-campus club called ‘Green Invest’, a group of multi-talented business students who strive to protect the environment. We have worked on many projects both on and off campus, including the environment week, and a multitude of conferences tackling issues related to green marketing and sustainable economy, still, the most meaningful project to me personally was a series of workshops and constructive activities we conducted in elementary schools in the area. I saw myself in the kids glittering eyes, all enthusiastic and eager to show their knowledge and learn new things equally. We dedicated a great deal of our time to talk about the ocean preservation. Thanks to those children, of whom I couldn’t be any more proud, I realized that the future that lies ahead can only be more promising if those kids keep their green spirit, that instinctively yearns for a healthy planet.

Seeing those passionate young environment activists, with their eyes glinting with delight and pride, nourished the dream I had conceived when I first embarked in this journey; the dream of meeting the clean ocean of my childhood. My experience in ocean preservation had instilled in me a deep belief in the importance and the efficiency of the engagement of youth in the cause, bringing in a positive and energetic vibe, in addition to creative ideas, which can only help solve the issue and thus, save our dear oceans. 

Mohammed Wahabi 27-Oct-2016