‘We are all impacted by climate change’

The world is faced with an acute climate crisis. In a series of interviews Nuffic partners talk about their personal efforts to contribute to a more sustainable world. Part 1: Aysha Mahmoud Abu Allan from Jordan.

Nuffic manages a wide range of programmes that give people access to education, and with that, an opportunity to make impact on the many challenges facing our world today. One of the most important challenges today is the sustainability transition. Aysha Mahmoud Abu Allan, who studied in the Netherlands, is one of the people making their mark.

Let's meet Aysha

Before becoming a freelance consultant in 2020, Aysha held different leadership positions for the Water Authority of Jordan for over 25 years. She followed several short courses in the Netherlands (Rotterdam, The Hague, Twente) and is an active member of the Jordanian Dutch Friendship Association and the Netherlands Alumni Association.

As a former student in the Netherlands, Aysha participated in many Orange Knowledge Programme and Mena Scholarship Programme activities. She organised Holland Alumni events in 2020, and took part in the Orange Knowledge Exchange Series and several Capacity Building projects. For her efforts, she was featured as a ‘Change Maker’ by Nuffic Global Development on International Women's Day 2021.

In 2020, Aysha researched the long-term impact exchange students from the MENA region have on their origin country after returning from a study in the Netherlands.

1. The biggest sustainability challenge in Jordan is…

“…increasing water scarcity. Jordan is located in the heart of Middle East. Our current population is 10.2 million and is growing rapidly, in part because of a high influx of refugees. Jordan consists of arid and semi-arid land and has to cope with low rainfall and high evaporation. It suffers from scarcity of water, energy, and financial resources. Meanwhile, water demand is growing for domestic, agriculture, industrial and livestock use.”

2. I am contributing to a more sustainable world by…

“…participating in international activities like the World Water Week in Stockholm in 2017, and organising webinars for Netherlands Alumni in the MENA region on the topic of Water and Agriculture. Since 2012 I have been following short courses in the Netherlands, about inclusive service delivery and SDGs, water governance, water resources managements, and water foot print assessment, among other things.”

'Governments around the world should be working side by side to come up with comprehensive solutions'

“These courses not only strengthened my skills but also made an enormous impact on my social and professional life. I put these news skills to use at the Water Authority of Jordan, but also in other organisations and other countries in the MENA region. As a Netherlands Alumni myself, I have helped several friends and colleagues get scholarships in the Netherlands as well, primarily in the field of water management and environment.”

3. My personal dedication to sustainability matters because…

“…we are all impacted by climate change. Not just animals, nature, agriculture, and the economy, but also human beings, both psychological and physical. I can’t shake the memories of that day in the late seventies when I was walking to school. The water was knee-high in the streets. Nowadays, dry areas have more snow than some mountains. And unexpected weather events like the Alexa snow storm of 2013 and flash floods in Wadi Zarqa Ma’in of 2018, that lead to the deaths of 21 students on a school trip, are etched in my mind forever. This event lead me to contribute to flood risk studies and the introduction of an Early Warning System.”

“Governments around the world should be working side by side to come up with comprehensive studies, research, and innovative solutions to deal with the impact of climate change. They should move forward with Paris agreement in order to achieve the SDGs and to empower new generations.”

Nuffic & Sustainability

In a new series, we introduce you to a number of our partners from all walks of life who are making an impact with regard to sustainability. Read more about our efforts on sustainable student mobility.

Part 2: Rogier Mul, Oss: ‘Duurzaamheidspark laat zien dat er alternatieven zijn’ (in Dutch)

Part 3: Marisa Beunk, Wageningen: 'Step by step towards a sustainable world'