Contrast VR

The Disappearing Oasis

Halim Sbai knows he cannot save the oasis, but he is doing everything he can to let the world know what’s happening on the border with Sahara.

The Disappearing Oasis, an immersive film by Contrast VR, illuminates desertification, which threatens the livelihood of more than 2 million people living in the oases (fertile areas in a desert) in Morocco. Climate change is one of the main causes for degradation of these fragile ecosystems. Lack of opportunities drive people away from oases leaving empty lands for the Sahara to grab. While locals cannot save oases by themselves, Halim plants palm tree seeds every year to stop desertification.

“I feel there is injustice. In these areas, we do not create the causes of climate change, we just experience the effects.”

Halim Sbai, Cultural Organizer

Climate Change in North Africa and the Middle East


“Protracted heatwaves and sandstorms may make some areas uninhabitable,” says Jos Lelieveld, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

Towards the end of the 21st century, the Middle East and North Africa will have to expect about 200 unusually hot days a year. The region already receives less rain. In North Africa, by 2050 precipitation is expected to decrease by at least 10-20 per cent.

Changes in climate cause extreme events, such as floods and droughts, which threaten the livelihood of locals, especially those working in agriculture.

DIRECTOR: Viktorija Mickute

PRODUCER: Viktorija Mickute

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Zahra Rasool

DIRECTORS OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Maria Fernanda Lauret

VR POST PRODUCTION:Maria Fernanda Lauret

FIXER: Abdellah Azizi

MUSIC: Generation Taragalte

Advisor: Meryem Tanarhte, University Hassan II - Casablanca

Supported by

Contrast VR is a project from the Al Jazeera Canvas team
Find out more by visiting the Canvas website