Husain studied at Knox County STEM Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The UTK Progressive Student Alliance held a vigil to support the Amazon rainforest at the Rock September 2019. About fifteen people showed up to raise visibility about the current status of the rainforest and raise funds for the preservation of the Amazon.
Students painted the Rock with the message, “Get your power to the resistance,” followed by the hashtag “ACT 4 AMAZONIA.” They also painted the name of an organization that works to preserve the rainforest, AmazonWatch.org.
One of the students gave a brief speech dedicated to the Amazon rainforest and those who lost their homes during the area’s deforestation, and a moment of silence followed.
One of the organizers, Evora Kreis, a sociology and Spanish double major, addressed the issues in the Amazon.
According to Anna Helms, an alumnus of UT, Amazon Watch in particular is working to keep the Amazon intact by connecting 400 groups of different Amazonian, indigenous peoples to indigenous activist groups and social justice groups fighting against the destruction of the rainforest. Amazon Watch then grants the groups financial aid. The raised fund from UT’s vigil will be sent to the organization.
One of the participants of the vigil, Mariam Husain, an environmental sociology major, discussed the role that students should have in addressing this problem.
Sarra Ghezzaz, another participant and a neuroscience major, explained that Amazon deforestation should concern the entire world.
“I’m just here to support. I’m helping any way that I can because honestly, it’s affecting all of us. Not just us in Knoxville and not just the people in the rainforest but the entire world right now,” Ghezzaz said. “It’s affecting everybody. So, I think everybody should be doing something to help those in need in any way they can.”