SYS Story


It was Fall 2019 when I had the time to choose my elective courses during my graduate journey at KAUST. I chose Sustainable Engineering taught by Prof. Mani Sarathy and Energy and the Environment taught by Prof. Tad Patzek. These two courses awakened me to the urgent reality of the world. I was filled with both logical and emotional drive to act; my brain and heart felt like on fire. My only hope was the goodness on humanity and all I wanted to do is to empower others to act and collaborate.


When Dr. Ana Margarida, the head of KAUST sustainability, organized ‘Let’s Talk about

Sustainability’ in November 2019, I felt It was the door to stop complaining and start embracing change. I was truly fortunate to meet other passionate and self-driven people to establish a platform to drive positive impact. A very diverse group of us bonded on a respectful, transparent, dynamic and open manner. The first sustainability organization was born with me being the founding president. Despite the pain we experienced individually throughout the pandemic year of 2020, we showed how our collective efforts make us resilient. We were the most active student organization on campus. We initiated the Sustainability Seminar Series, Campus Tours, Week of Awareness, Sustainability Movie Nights, Sustainability Behavioral Challenge, Earth Day Celebration, Global University Climate Forum, and many others. We participated in both local and international organizations. It seemed to me that all forces came together to create this epic  student organization.


We aspire to expand this youth momentum to other local and regional universities. By establishing this society , we aim to connect with other young change-makers from Saudi Arabia to develop novel approaches to tackle persisting critical issues and initiate a network that will unite our forces together. We want to raise our voice to policy makers to meet the younger generation’s demand of sustainable development. We need to act collectively now! Let’s thrive together for the better.




Eman Alhajji 

President of Students for Sustainability at KAUST