A continuation of "The Island President" Part One
As the film drew to a close, I noticed a dark figure enter the theater to my right; my heart almost stopped when I realized it was former president of the Maldives Nasheed. Credits rolled and the room shook with applause. As he stood in the front of the theatre answering the audiences’ questions I stood in the back wearing my orange Climate Summer t-shirt, clutching my 350.org signup sheet and literally trembling with anticipation.
After the film, former president Nasheed held a question and answering session where he answered various questions from the audience. The question and answering finished and the former president moved to exit the theater. It took me a moment to process the fact that he was walking towards me. Then he was right in front of me. It was then I realized this amazing man was shorter than me. He looked down at my clipboard and asked calmly, “Should I sign this?” All I could muster was an, “Um… If you would like…” It was as if every intelligent thought had vanished from my head. As he signed my paper 20 some odd cameras flashed as moviegoers and the press encircled us. I was a deer in headlights, this moment truly surreal in my mind. To be not only in the presence of, but standing next to such an incredible human being was an experience like none I have ever had.
But the night didn’t stop there. After the crowd had dispersed, the Climate Summer riders were invited to eat a late dinner with the former president and his entourage at a nearby restaurant. Even though Nasheed was extremely jetlagged having just arrived from the Maldives, he still managed to engage us all in conversation, asking what we were studying in school and our hopes for the upcoming summer.
I have never in my life been so in awe of one individual and his life’s work. President Mohamed Nasheed will continue to be an inspiration to me, not only during Climate Summer, but also for the rest of my life. Thank you 350.org for this amazing opportunity!