Education key in fighting terror
Manama, August 28, 2014
Education is key in preventing young Gulf nationals from taking up arms with extremist militants, according to a top GCC official.
Only through promoting moderation will the youth learn that joining terrorist organisations, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is dangerous, GCC secretary-general Dr Abdullatif Al Zayani told the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
It is dangerous, too dangerous for them to go and fight,” he said.
“The worst thing for a parent is to see their son or daughter pursuing such a course.
“I think we need to leave it to the experts to design a programme, where we aim for achieving moderation.
“There are a lot of ways to achieve objectives, which are not through violence and bloodshed.”
Speaking on the sidelines of 'Building Community and Youth Initiatives' conference yesterday at the Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence and Spa, which was organised by the GCC and held under the patronage of Supreme Council for Youth and Sport chairman Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Dr Al Zayani called on all Gulf countries to unite against the terrorist threat.
“We hope that this will make us more robust and vigilant. We want to empower parents to raise children to become good citizens who serve, not destroy, their community.
“Sixty-six per cent of our societies are youth, so the GCC society is already youthful and we have to listen to what they want and work to make it available.”
The aim of yesterday's event, Dr Al Zayani said, was to interact with young people, use this feedback to design programmes of education and help transform the GCC from a 'resource-fed economy to a knowledge-based one'.
On the current dispute with Qatar, which has caused friction between GCC member states, the secretary-general dismissed fears that it could lead to the imminent collapse of the union.
“No one said that when a group of states decided to co-operate and integrate, it would be a smooth ride,” he said.
“We're riding a bumpy road and there are always hiccups, but I assure that we are a resilient region and we will always bounce back stronger and healthier.”
He added that the youth conference is planned to be an annual event, with next year's set to be held in Qatar.
Meanwhile, Shaikh Nasser praised the success of workshops, which he said would help in the development of the GCC.
“The importance of holding these workshops is so that we can work on proposals to have more projects and programmes to achieve the aspirations of the youth of the GCC countries,” he said.
“It aims to direct the energies of young people and their ideas and opinions towards the development of their countries.” - TradeArabia News Service