The conversation is intense. And it woos. Sarah hadj ammar has a clear idea of what is going wrong at the moment. What the current generation of decision makers is screwing up. And what the coming generations will have to suffer from. Hadj ammar is a youth councilor in wurzburg. And she is a multiplier and mouthpiece for the "generationenstiftung" campaign in lower franconia.
Question: how do you imagine life in 2040??
Sarah hadj ammar: the ideal situation looks like this: good air for everyone, enough fish swimming in the seas, no one going hungry, children happy to go to school and snow still falling in germany in winter.
And this idea is unrealistic?
Hadj ammar: take a look around you. There is so much talk but no action. The paris climate agreement? Not one hundred percent implemented. The nuclear phase-out? Much too pedantic. The coal phase-out? Must be approached much more ambitiously. There is a lack of perseverance, a lack of will to follow through on decisions once they have been made.
And they are the ones who suffer?
Hadj ammar: our generation. Of course. Money is always more important than sustainability. Always short term solutions are decided, one thinks only from legislative period to legislative period. No one who is now in power cares what our planet will look like in 2080. I am very interested in this.
Why you are involved in the "generationenstiftung" project …
Hadj ammar: exactly. We want a fundamental change, we want the voices of young people to be heard. That our wishes also result in concrete demands that are implemented. At the moment it looks like our livelihoods are being squandered.
What are your concrete demands??
Hadj ammar: parental independence for all. More interactions in the education system, all children and youth must have equal educational opportunities. Introducing the right to vote for children. All power comes from the people, it says in the basic law. Our electoral law violates this approach.
Is life really that bad in 2018??
Hadj ammar: not for the current generation. But how does the future look like? Nuclear energy will continue to leave its mark on our planet for many decades to come, and coal-fired power plants will continue to pollute the environment. Only short-term solutions are sought. In all areas. What good is a pension concept until the year 2025??
How do you want to establish long-term thinking and action??
Hadj ammar: by first of all bundling our wishes and concerns and then translating them into demands that we communicate loudly.
That’s why you have also signed the generation contract.
Hadj ammar: yes, as a clear sign that it can no longer go on like this. We must always make our decisions for the long term. Like the native americans i read about as a child.
I beg your pardon?
Hadj ammar: I know how that sounds. A little romantic, perhaps naive. But the approach is exactly the right one: the tribe had examined every decision to see if it would still be useful for the next seven generations.
Who is behind the generationenstiftung?
Hadj ammar: we are 14 politically active young people from all over germany and have held several workshops to discuss what the future of this country could look like and what needs to change. We soon had a list of more than 100 ideas, which we gradually condensed into the most important demands. In the meantime, we are challenged by more than 1,000 people, more than 225.000 people have signed our demands. Among them also many people around 50.
So work with the people who criticize you?
Hadj ammar: natural. We are not interested in getting rid of our frustration, but in a good relationship with each other. We want to make a difference, and that can only happen through dialogue.
Who will participate from the older generation??
Hadj ammar: our supporters include such well-known personalities as physicist prof. Harald lesch, actors annette frier and hannes jaenicke or author eckart von hirschhausen. We want to think together about how we can improve the basis of life. And now.
Are you sure your voice will be heard??
Hadj ammar: I think so, the movement is growing, the politicians have become aware of us. The media as well. We are on the right track. But it is also clear that many more young people need to speak up, to raise their voices. Only if many people think like we do and articulate themselves accordingly is change possible. Someone has to get started.
What do you want for the year 2040??
Hadj ammar: so that no one has to live in fear anymore, so that all children and young people can reach their full potential. That there will be no more hunger and extreme poverty. And that thanks to our behavior we have got a grip on climate change.
About the person: sarah hadj ammar grew up in straubing. Her mother took her to anti-nuclear demonstrations at an early age, and she became a member of "plant for the planet" at the age of eleven. For the past year, she has been a youth councillor at the generations foundation. The 19-year-old is in her first year of biomedical studies at the university of wurzburg.
In the next part of the series, a 26-year-old explains why he wants to become a catholic priest.
sarah hadj ammar grew up in straubing, germany. Her mother took her to anti-nuclear demonstrations when she was young, and she became a member of "plant for the planet" when she was eleven. She has been a youth councillor at the generationen stiftung for a year now. The 19-year-old is a first-year student of biomedicine at the university of wurzburg.