Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rhamis Kent Permaculturist, on Islam & Earth Repair

In our first podcast, Krystina sits down with Rhamis Kent, a Permaculture consultant who travels all over the Middle East and North Africa advising governments and organizations on how they can engage in ecosystem restoration in order to increase biodiversity and sustain plant, animal, and human life.

In this interview, they discuss his recent article entitled “Restoring the Amanah Through Earth Repair: Islam, Permaculture, and Ecosystem Restoration Work.” Download the podcast here.

Krystina Friedlander: I want to start by asking you about Ibn Khaldun, a Tunisian historiographer who lived in the 14th century. You wrote that he warned people about the “pleasures of civilization.” What might he say about what we’re seeing now in terms of environmental degradation and industrialization?

Rhamis Kent: Well, I think it’s a proof to what he’s pointing to in his work. The Muqaddimah is a book where he’s examining the causes for the rise and fall of civilizations. As far as what he means by the “pleasures of civilization,” I think the easier things become, the more convenient our day-to-day living becomes, the more distanced we are from really understanding what it is that we need in order to sustain our lives, the more distance we have between ourselves and the natural world. There’s this artificial separation, a misunderstanding of exactly where we are oriented within that order. It creates a type of lethargy where you become very disoriented, and you don’t realize the impact your actions are having on the things you actually need in order to survive. Ibn Khaldun, he called it very accurately, and we’re seeing the advanced stages of some of the types of decline that he’d spoken of in his work. More