Sharjah: A 16-year-old environment advocate in Sharjah has written a book about the suffering of animals in the recent Australian bushfires to raise awareness on climate change.
Emaan Zahra Ijaz, a grade 11 student of GEMS Westminster School in Sharjah, said the unprecedented bushfires that destroyed wildlife were linked to global warming, which some experts believe is possible.
Emaan, from Pakistan, said human activity and pollution are worsening global warming, which is devastating “innocent wildlife”.
Emaan’s new book, ‘Fleeing from the Flames’, narrates this apocalyptic scenario from the point of view of animals caught in the bushfires, including a koala, rabbit, and a wombat (as well as one human).
The 30-pager has been called “emotional” and “heart-throbbing” by readers on Wattpad, a global online community of millions of writers and readers.
Emaan added that she could not sit idle as another disaster unfolded. The teenage campaigner decided to use her hobby of writing to raise environmental awareness and pay tribute to the animals hurt or killed in the bushfires.
“Many people realise what global warming is doing to us, but there are only few who wish to take action against it, and I wanted to be part of that community,” Emaan said.
She wanted to write from the perspective of animals “to give an image of the destruction we are causing”.
Emaan uses the ending of her book to explore “whether humanity will learn from their lesson if we were given the chance to live on planet Earth again”.
The book will soon be available in Sharjah Public Library and the National Library of Australia has asked for the e-book of the story as well, Emaan said. The e-book is available online on Wattpad, Inkitt, Smashwords, Google Play Books, and will soon list on Amazon and Kindle, for around Dh10, she added.
After her IGCSE exams this summer, Emaan plans to write “a few more books about realistic events”, about various global issues centred on the environment, to continue raising awareness.
Emaan also writes articles “based on real-life situations” for publications such as Teen Ink (a US magazine) and the online platform WritersCafe.
“My biggest supporters are my parents and my brother, who has been assisting me with my work – so big thanks to them.”
Her brother Haider, 15, edited Fleeing from the Flames and co-designed the book’s cover with Emaan.