Yemen Youth help state fights terror-

While Yemen government continues to utilize its military resources to fight off terror militants n the country, with the full strategic support of the United States of America, a Youth group engineered a outreach counter-terrorism program directly targeting schools to educate youngsters against the danger of extremism and terror.

In a country where often tribal allegiances prevail over nationalism and patriotism, Youth Creativity (the organization in charge of this new program) is fighting against social stream, seeking to instill a deeper sense of national identity and unity through the promotion of tolerance and cooperation among communities for the benefit of all.

The organization which is now benefiting from the support of Yemen ministry of education is making head waves in schools and other institutions, teaching young minds the importance of tolerance over violence and the danger posed by a perverse understanding of Islam.

Terror groups linked to al-Qaeda have gained much ground in the impoverished nation over the past couple of years, as they used the power vacuum left by 2011 popular uprising and Yemen economic crisis to rally around yet more sympathizers, turning poverty and despair into a catalyst for their recruitment campaign.
In 2011, Ansar al-Shariah, an offshoot of al-Qaeda in the region managed to seize large swathes of lands in the southern province of Abyan, turning the cities of Jaar and Zinjibar into small Islamic caliphates.
The central government was forced to launch a extensive military operation in the region to free its territories and return the province back into the government's fold.
Driven away by the military backed by pro-government tribal factions, al-Qaeda had to admit defeat and fled.
However, if Yemen won a major victory against the group, it has yet to win the war against terror and eradicate from its land all Islamic extremists.
Looming from the shadows, al-Qaeda still represents a threat to national security.

The government which had been actively engaged in military-oriented counter-terrorism programs is now, thanks to Youth Creativity initiative turning its attention to prevention and education to support its ground efforts and address the problem of terror by attacking its ideology.

The group which does not operate under any political banner said it will continue to advocate peaceful dialogue beyond political affiliation, social status or background as well as gender. A civic and democratic endeavor, Youth Creativity counter-terrorism program targets all without discrimination or bias, a reflection of what Yemen Youth envisioned Yemen should be.

Analysts and counter-terrorism experts have long established that only through education will governments comprehensibly and sustainably keep the threat of terror at bay. Back in 2010, then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said "Countering terrorism is not a task that any country can achieve on its own, it calls for all nations to be vigilant and creative, as well as receptive to new ideas and willing to set aside failed strategies...We are far more likely to succeed in thwarting terrorist networks like al-Qaeda and its syndicate organizations if we work together to track their actions...These groups have a global view and we must have one too that begins with a shared understanding of the big picture."

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahiviet Davutoglu said on the matter , "There is a worrying increase in the number of vulnerable states and regions where terrorist groups find ample opportunity to recruit, train and plot attacks. The U.N., in particular the Security Council, needs to ensure that its focus goes beyond combating terrorism. It should be more comprehensive and focus also on efforts geared toward preventing terrorism."

Yemen Youth is doing just that, focusing its creativity on engineering counter-terror programs which focus is on prevention and rehabilitation, leaving the state to deal with the pursuit of terror militants.

Moreover, Youth creativity seeks to educate students in Islam, away from extremist interpretation, true to the peaceful spirit of Islam. Scholars and clerics are working with the group to tell children about the teachings of the Quran and Hadiths, focusing on the importance of brotherhood, tolerance, empathy, collaboration and peace.

The group which counts so far 120 volunteers is crisscrossing Yemen schools up and and down the country, spreading their positive message, trying to create a momentum which will perdure long after their departure.
In every institution they visit, Youth Creativity activists train educators to carry on their work, and ensure that their students do not fall prey to terror extremists.

The idea is for each school to be given the tools to pick up on tell tale signs students, might be vulnerable to indoctrination as to revert the trend and foil terror groups recruitment campaigns at their very root.

Such programs will be decisive in Yemen as they address terror and extremism on a social and community level by cutting out groups such as al-Qaeda from mains-stream society, literally suffocating their campaigns through prevention.

In a country such as Yemen where illiteracy and poverty have been used by al-Qaeda as recruiting tools, Youth Creativity is making a tangible difference. Its educational programs ' reach will reverberate far and wide through society, planting the seed of tolerance at the heart of communities.



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