Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yemen wants peace! (postcard from Scotland)

I had the honour of being part of launching the 'Women in Conflict Initiative' run by Beyond Borders in Scotland (21-24, Aug) which allowed me to hold meetings with a number of Scottish politicians, European parliament members, EU & UN diplomats. More importantly, I hung out with some courageous women MPs & peace activists from Iraq & Syria over the past 4 days. Trying to find ways of cooperation, we, the activists couldn't stress enough how important it is to provide all the humanitarian assistance possible for our people. We, activists from Syria & Yemen especially were repeating over & over: we must stop the starvation of our people.

Violence comes in different forms. Starvation is one form, and the bombs dropped over the heads of our people is another form of violence. Thus, I'm grateful for those who helped me have this chance to speak in Scotland. Since I was there, I named and shamed the EU's role in allowing shipping weapons used in Yemen by Saudi-led coalition (proofs are here).. I urged the crowd to engage in the least solidarity act that's in pushing their politicians to stop the weapons shipment, & stop the violence. That might be a tiny step towards making peace. Until then, the bleakest the situation in Yemen gets, the more Yemen wants peace–and it wants it Now!

First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon expressed the importance of solidarity Scotland ought to show to women in different conflicts in MENA region.  

One of the great things in the festival was meeting one-to-one with UN diplomats where we, the women activists voiced our concerned directly - the importance of providing humanitarian assistance to our people was in our top priority.