On the 17th of October, 2015 NourEnergy organized a one day convention on the theme ‘Muslims – Active for Nature and Society’ at the Justus-Liebig-Haus in Darmstadt, Germany.
People from all over Germany and even from Switzerland, Finland, France, and even Morocco attended the convention. This included students, engineers, theologians, professors, environmentalists, and volunteers – Muslims and well as non-Muslims. This convention was organized as a celebration of 5 years of NourEnergy. NourEnergy was established in the year 2010 as a voluntary organization committed to environmental protection and spreading awareness about the same.
The event started with the moderator for the day, Zaid el Mogadeddi welcoming all the guests and was followed by a Quran recitation by the head of the organizing team Baraa Khair. The audience was presented with a slide-show overview of the activities of the NourEnergy team in the last five years. This was followed by a series of inspiring and motivating lectures, presentations, and interactions from Dr. Ali Özgür Özdil, Prof. Ralf Otterpohl, Mohammad Naved Johari, Dr. Mohammed Adam, and Abdelhey Fadil among others, which followed the central theme of environment protection and sustainablity. This was in continuation of the lecture series that had started the day before with Dr. Abdurrahman Reidegeld presenting a lecture on the theme ‘Der Mensch – ein Spiegel seiner Umwelt’ (Humanity – a reflection of their environment). Alongside this, different organizations working in the field of environment and sustainablity were present at the convention for idea exchange and networking. These include Islamic Relief, Al-Balsam, Sieben Ähren, Salam, HIMA, and Zahnräder Netzwerk, Avicenna Studienwerk. The guests as well as the organizers were introduced to some interesting projects from some of these organizations which include ‘Faire Moschee’ project (FSI Forum für soziale Innovation gGmbH), ‘Worldwide Climate Change Policy’ (Islamic Relief e.V.) and ‘Green up my Community’ (Hima e.V.) among others. Lunch and drinks were offered to the guests and there was also arrangement for the daily prayers just outside the convention hall. Organic juice brand ‘froods’ had sponsored the drinks for the convention.
The lively and engaging atmosphere at the convention was an indication that all is not lost yet in the fight against environmental degradation and the wanton use of natural resources. Probably, that is what the chairman of NourEnergy, Tanju Doganay meant when he said, “It makes me very happy to see Muslims coming together and supporting social and environment friendly initiatives and taking up the responsibility. They want to offer solutions for the problems that the society is facing and to be themselves a part of the solution. That is why we are trying to offer a conducive atmosphere for idea exchange and networking in such direction. In this regard, my special thanks are due to the Robert-Bosch-Stiftung, which supported us financially to make this convention a reality.”
For a perfect and thought-provoking ending, a podium discussion was held towards the end of the day. The participants included the environment council chairman of the Evangelic Church Hessen-Nassau, Dr. Hubert Meisinger; founder of ‘Yesil Cember’, Gülcan Nitsch; chairperson of the Emirsultan Mosque in Darmstadt, Senay Altintas; and 29 year old NourEnergy founder Tanju Doganay. The podium discussion ended with a common pledge being taken: With inter-religious cooperation, we can work together for our environment and strengthen our existing initiatives.
Just before the farewell, a big round of applause was given to Sister Najma who was busy the whole day conveying the proceedings in sign-language to the specially-abled persons. The convention did not just convey the awareness of Muslim youth and organizations towards environmental and social issues but also gave a lively example of the brotherhood, sisterhood and warmth that Islam stands for in a society. The harmony and understanding between the team members many of whom were meeting each other for the very first time was evident throughout the day. Probably, this is what event organizer Esra Polat meant when she said, “We organized this convention only on the basis of e-mail and teleconference contacts with each other. But the harmony in between the team member, the warmth, and the concern towards playing a positive role in solving environmental and societal issues have touched me deeply. I am proud of you all. It is not an ordinary thing to do, to take time out of your busy schedule and contribute towards this; it is something to deeply treasure. Thank you very much for this amazing day!”
*All rights for illustrations belong to NourEnergy e.V.