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Join us at “How to Save the Sundarbans?” 🌳

Joep from Nextblue
Joep from Nextblue
Hi there.
Today, we have some interesting things to share! We bring you a story about the Mesopotamian Marshes, a Q&A with the author of that story Toka Mahmoud, and finally a webinar on the Sundarbans, the mangroves formed out of the world’s biggest delta.
We would like to invite you to join our upcoming webinar “How to Save the Sundarbans?” for a panel discussion with experts on the region. You’ll also learn from our storyteller Supratim Bhattacharjee how communities are dealing with rising seas.
🗓️ Thursday, September 8th
⏰ 12:00 PM India (IST)/12:30 PM Bangladesh/8:30 AM CEST
🔗 Register to receive the Zoom link: https://next.blue/signups/sundarbans
The Garden of Eden
On top of this, we have recently published a great story on the Mesopotamian Marshes, also known as the Iraqi Marshes, a wetland area located in Southern Iraq and partially in southwestern Iran.
Believed to be the original Garden of Eden, the Mesopotamian Marshes sheltered rich biodiversity, and sustained the Marsh Arabs’ unique lifestyle. Irrigation projects, and water drained out during a political conflict nearly decimated the marshes. While restoration efforts brought some success, the marshes may never be back to their original abundance.
You’ll find the story below; let’s jump to the Q&A with the author of the story first.
Hope it gives you new insights.
Let’s talk about water
Each newsletter, a storyteller will join us to talk about water. 
This week we introduce you to Toka Mahmoud, a water and environmental engineer from Egypt. Currently, she holds a master’s degree in water management and governance from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Netherlands.
What is the first book you read that you still fondly remember?
“The Bone Sparrow” by Zana Fraillon. It’s about a child born and living in a refugee camp. I hope to write a similar book about children’s rights to water and sanitation in displacement camps.
Your current research focuses on governance, fragility and mobility in light of water insecurity and climate change. What drives you to work on these themes?
I love research on the interaction between water and communities. With the emerging threats of climate change and water insecurity, I think that water research in the context of fragility is among the noblest way to utilise knowledge.
What’s the most insightful thought you’ve read about water in the past month?
It’s a quote by Lao Tzu “Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.”
You’re working in a field that is an intersection between science and community. What are you picking up from local citizens?
At first glance when stepping into a local community, a researcher could think he’s teaching locals. Most of the time, they teach us new perspectives.
What’s your one tip (that doesn’t get discussed enough) for water and environmental engineers?
In fragile settings, most water interventions are short-term solutions while on average a refugee spends 17 years in camps. That’s why humanitarian interventions should shift to long-term sustainable solutions.  
Story of the Week
The Garden of Eden – Drained to a naught
Wrap up
Thanks for being here. As always, follow us at @Nextbluestories.
You can support us by becoming a paid member for $3!
Or, make a one-off donation here.
See you next time,
Joep
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Joep from Nextblue
Joep from Nextblue @nextbluestories

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