The MENA region experienced another year of escalating climate extremes in 2022. Suffocating dust storms ravaged the Arabian Peninsula, stifling and deadly heatwaves persisted over the summer, and intense precipitation events caused calamitous flooding in various locations across the region. The end of 2022 finally saw some promise: at the COP27 conference in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the participating governments agreed to renewed global action on new policies to address the growing climate crisis . The meeting yielded a landmark agreement on developing a loss and damage fund for developing nations; yet more progress remains with respect to climate adaptation and mitigation. As we look toward the next Conference of Parties meeting (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates, additional work needs to be done to alleviate the potential for worsening climate impact in the future.
On Thursday, February 2, 2023, the Middle East Institute and the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy jointly hosted an event to revisit how the MENA region fared with respect to climate change-induced threats and climate policy in 2022, as well as discuss opportunities for more meaningful and transformative climate action in the region for 2023.
Karim Elgendy, Non-Resident Scholar, Middle East Institute
Karim Elgendy is an urban sustainability and climate consultant based in London. In addition to being a Non Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute, Karim is an Associate Director at Buro Happold, an Associate Fellow at Chatham House (The Royal Institute for International Affairs), and the Founder and Coordinator of Carboun, an advocacy initiative promoting sustainability in the cities of the Middle East and North Africa through research and communication.
Karim’s interests include urban sustainability and resilience, climate policy, energy transition, urban metabolism, and the circular economy. His current work focuses on the Middle East and North Africa region, especially around the Eastern Mediterranean and the Gulf, but his two decades of experience spans Europe, North America, and sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Marwa Daoudy, Associate Professor, Georgetown University and Non-Resident Scholar, Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center
Dr. Marwa Daoudy is an Associate Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (SFS) and the Seif Ghobash Chair in Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS). Prior to Georgetown University, Dr. Daoudy was a lecturer at Oxford University (UK) in the department of Politics and International Relations, a fellow of Oxford’s Middle East Center at St Antony’s College and a visiting scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Daoudy’s research and teaching focus on critical and human security studies, environmental politics, climate security, water politics, negotiation theory, peace negotiations, and Middle East politics.
Dr. Daoudy’s second book on The Origins of the Syrian Conflict: Climate Change and Human Security (Cambridge University Press, 2020) won the 2020 Harold and Margaret Sprout Prize by the International Studies Association, awarded for the best books in the field of environmental studies. A report on A Year of Climate Science in Review written by Dr. Daoudy together with 65 leading scientists was launched at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) (November 2022). Amongst her recent publications also feature articles titled Scorched Earth: Climate and Conflict in the Middle East (Foreign Affairs, 2022), What is Climate Change? Framing Risks around Water, Food and Migration in the Middle East and North Africa WIREs Water, 2022) and an opinion piece on ‘Egypt and COP27: Leading Abroad, Repressing at Home‘ (Malcolm H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center, Diwan Insights, 2022).
Sarine Karajerjian, Program Director of the Environmental Politics (ARI), Arab Reform Initiative Team
Sarine Karajerjian is the Program Director of the Environmental Politics program at the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI).
Prior to working at ARI, she worked for 15 years at the AUB’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs since the Institute’s inception. Her previous work covered strategic management, fundraising and outreach, and partnerships and grants management. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Anthropology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris and writing her dissertation on the exile and trauma of Syrian refugee women in Beirut. She holds a Masters’ degree in Environmental Policy Planning and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health from AUB.
Hajar Khamlichi, Executive Director of the Mediterranean Climate House Foundation
Hajar Khamlichi is a sustainability expert and a climate advocate, with over 15 years of experience in water operations and CSR management. She has extensive experience in raising awareness among senior decision-makers at local and international levels, working at the forefront of climate action and the concretization of the SDGs. As of July 2021, she was appointed as the Executive Director of the Mediterranean Climate House Foundation to support local governments in the Mediterranean in implementing the climate action agenda. She is a co-founder and was formerly President of the Mediterranean Youth Climate Network (MYCN), which consists of Youth Movements and NGOs who work in climate action and sustainable development. Hajar is a co-founder of the Imal Initiative for Climate and Development, the independent non-profit North African climate-focused think tank headquartered in Morocco. She also joined the MENA urban sustainability non-profit Carboun as its Mediterranean coordinator to monitor and promote cities’ sustainability.
Mai El-Sadany, Managing Director, Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy
Mai El-Sadany is the Managing Director and Legal and Judicial Director at TIMEP. She is a human rights lawyer with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Mai’s published work has appeared in outlets from The Washington Post to the World Policy Journal and has focused on making some of the most pressing legal, accountability, and transitional justice issues across the MENA region more accessible for a policy audience.
She holds a J.D. and certificate in refugees and humanitarian emergencies from the Georgetown University Law Center, and a B.A. in political science from Stanford University. Mai has previously worked at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is currently a member of the Working Group on Egypt, a bipartisan group of foreign affairs experts formed in 2010 to advocate for more principled U.S. policies toward Egypt. You can follow her on Twitter: @maitelsadany.
Mohammed Mahmoud, Climate and Water Program Director, Middle East Institute (moderator)
Mohammed Mahmoud is the Director of the Climate and Water Program and a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute. His areas of expertise include climate change adaptation, water policy analysis, and scenario planning. Mohammed’s professional accomplishments include negotiating and formalizing a 10-year multi-state cloud seeding funding agreement between seven Colorado River Basin states, developing and implementing the first ever climate adaptation plan for a multi-county water district in Arizona, and helping secure a 1.1 million dollar grant from NASA for Arizona State University to study the impacts of climate change on the hydrology of the Western United States. Furthermore, he has provided numerous subject matter interviews in press, radio, and video media on climate-associated topics such as regional climate change impacts, water resources management, extreme heat, droughts, and the food-water-energy nexus.
This February marks ten years since TIMEP was founded. You can join us for an in-person celebration of this special anniversary in Washington, DC or make a gift today to help us kick off a powerful new decade of work together.