YES Programs



Countering Violent Extremism in Yemen

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AMIDEAST Aden, in partnership with the Alf Ba Civilization and Coexistence Foundation and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD), held a training workshop for nine YES alumni and four teacher trainees on countering violence and extremism from March 5-13, 2017.

The multi-day, participatory workshop dealt with the following topics: conflicts, extremism, identity, co-existence and critical thinking. During training on the first topic, conflicts, the participants learned how to define a conflict and identify the stages of its development; how to analyze conflicts using conflict analysis models; and the importance of a mediator in resolving conflicts. 

Regarding extremism, the participants learned how to define the term clearly and understand its impact on society; learned the stages of mitigating extremism in their communities; and learned how to identify early alerts of extreme behavior. 

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In the third stage of the training, which focused on identity, the participants practiced expressing their identities and learned the importance of keeping their identity without any act of prejudice. 

In the next phase of the workshop, which highlighted the principle of co-existence, the participants learned about the importance of living in harmony with people of different ideologies and backgrounds. They discussed that they only true path towards a peaceful society is through accepting others and finding ways to live together. 

Finally, on the topic of critical thinking, the workshop covered the importance of critical thinking for our understanding of events in their surroundings, and the participants learned how critical thinking could help them analyze and validate information.

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The training workshop incorporated various instructional methods, including the use of PowerPoint slides, group work, role-plays, case studies, documentary films, and short films. Prior to the successful completion of the first stage, the participants were divided into two groups and formed the basis of two peace initiatives. These two groups are now preparing for the second stage, which will involve outreach visits to elementary and secondary schools in order to spread awareness and educate students on topics that promote peace. The two initiatives will target eight schools in Aden during the months of March and April 2017.

Ali Mohammed (YES 2004 - 2005, hosted by Ayusa in Houston, TX)  participated in the training and reported, “This training workshop has provided me with ideas and tools that will help me contribute towards resolving conflicts and promoting peace. I feel that I have a greater responsibility now to spread the word in my community.” 

Shahenaz Bamosa (YES 2012-2013, hosted by AYA in Emmaus, PA) agrees, "This has been an amazing training opportunity; I have been able to enrich my knowledge on issues that promote peace and social integrity. I am looking forward for the outreach visits end of March."