By Thekra Al Sabahi
Sana’a – The ‘Community Coexistence’ campaign held its closing ceremony on Wednesday 24th of April.
The campaign aimed to raise awareness among young people about the true meaning of coexistence and tolerance. It promoted peaceful relations among people so as to create a Yemen characterized by respect and mutual understanding despite differing views.
The campaign was carried out in several schools across the capital city for a period of one month. It was implemented by the Girl Scout Association in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a.
The campaign targeted more than 24 governmental and private schools in Sana’a. It also featured activities in the Change Square, at the Sana’a University and at Tahrir Square under the slogan ‘Promote coexistence in thinking and behavior for a better life’. A number of events and activities were set up during which brochures and posters to promote and increase awareness on the importance of coexistence and tolerance were distributed.
The head of the media and the cultural section at the U.S. embassy in Sana’a, Mr. Lou Fintor, said while giving a speech at the closing ceremony that that the majority of the Yemeni community in America is located in the city of Detroit , Michigan.
“During my childhood in Detroit I grew up and came in contact with different nationalities, including the Yemeni community.”
Mr. Fintor praised the people who have been active in carrying out the coexistence campaign in the schools of the capital and affirmed that coexistence is essential for humankind as people need to live with each other peacefully independently from their religion, customs or traditions.
Mr. Fintor pointed out that one of the American Embassy programs which promotes cultural exchange and tolerance offers Yemeni students aged 15 to 20 years the opportunity to live in the United States of America for a whole year.
Minister of Youth and Sports and President of the Boy and Girl Scouts, Muammar AlEryani, stated that the societal coexistence campaign could be considered as an integral part of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference.
“Nowadays we seem to experience a shortage of understanding and tolerance between member of our communities, neighborhoods, political parties and nationwide in general. This has caused us to live as strangers among us” AlEryani stated.
He thanked the U.S. Embassy for adopting the project, which he said “reminded us (Yemenis) of our basic values.”
The Minister has called for the inclusion of an article that urges and calls for co-existence in the redraft of the Yemeni Constitution.
During the ceremony, personalities contributing to the success of the campaign as well as the three best educational centers participating were honored. Salem Al-Sabah school earned the first place; Hamid AlQadimi school got the second place while the Happy Yemen school positioned at the third place.
Dr. Amia Jubran, the responsible for the community development Girl Scouts Association, added that that the campaign carried out many awareness programs. It was implemented in the field level by classrooms visits, radio stations programs that urged for peaceful coexistence as well as acting sketches that were meant to encourage dialogue and understanding.
Dr. Jubran observed that the concept of the program coincided beautifully with the remarkable days Yemen is experienced “the days of the NDC” she said, “We hope that the members of the NDC as well will peacefully and tolerantly deal with each other so as to lead the country to a safe and stable situation.”