On journalism, climate change and migration

Sabine Benda, Senior Reporter

Firas Al-Atraqchi, head of the journalism department at the American University in Cairo (AUC), visited Hamline on April 20 to speak to Professor Valentine Cadieux’s Environment, Justice and Well-being class about the role of law and media in the manmade climate crisis. 

During the event, “No Easy Way to Prevent Ecocide,” Al-Atraqchi highlighted the ways the Middle East and North Africa are disproportionately affected by climate change. Ultimately, he emphasized, this crisis will affect all of us. 

“Our combined, human future is that of mass displacement and refugees,” Al-Atraqchi said. 

As a journalist himself, Al-Atraqchi noted that media coverage on climate change is lacking and biases are distracting from the real issues. 

“The media is as culpable as some of these big corporations,” Al-Atraqchi said. “But really getting the media on board is a critical aspect [to fight climate change].”

Despite the harrowing facts of the current health of our planet, Al-Atraqchi isn’t ready to give up on the fight. “I don’t have answers, I just have hope,” he said. 

Besides writing and editing on the Middle East and North America for three decades and serving in the AUC Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Al-Atraqchi is the faculty advisor for AUC’s student newspaper, The Caravan.