Swinging between hope and despair – Opposing news from Yemen


Date posted: November 9, 2012

Levent Koç*

We are in an era where we are swinging between hope and despair. More things push us towards despair than what makes us hopeful. Recently, I read two news stories about Yemen; one hurt my hope, the other refreshed it.

Yemen is a poor country, often mentioned in the world media because of Al-Qaida terrorist attacks. Once a country is infected with problems of extremism, radicalism, terrorism and human rights violations, we may deduct that it will take a considerable amount of time to heal such diseases.

Countries like Yemen, which have long been suffering from terrorism along with poverty and educational problems, may be cured, in the medium or long run, by investing in education and efforts towards eradicating poverty. In fact, deep social problems like poverty and ignorance may lead to terrorism, as there is already sufficient environment for recruiting new members to terrorist groups. Here is the news that saddened me.

At least 13 soldiers and 13 suspected al-Qaida militants were killed in an attack on an army base in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan on October 19, 2012. Two militants wearing army uniforms drove an explosives-laden car into the base, killing themselves and 10 soldiers and injuring 15 other soldiers. (1)

Two days after this disheartening news, our hopes were refreshed, as a Yemeni-Turkish School was opened in Aser neighborhood of Sana’a, the capital city of Yemen. The school was funded by Turkish businessmen and began construction in February 2011. Yemen’s Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindawa and Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu were both at the opening ceremony. (2)

This school is that newest addition to the chains of Yemeni-Turkish schools that opened its first location in 1998 with only 33 students. Currently these schools serve more than 1200 students.

In fact, these schools are inspired from a global civil society movement, the Gulen Movement, which is inspired from the ideas and ideals of eminent Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen. Gulen movement has invested in education in more than 130 countries. Although opening schools all over the world is considered ‘investment in education’, it is in reality a philanthropic gift to those countries and their peoples without any material expectation.

Gulen encourages people to solve three basic problems facing most of the nations in the world – ignorance, poverty and disunity. Inspired from Gulen’s ideas, many businessmen from Turkey support financially educational projects around the globe in order to fight these three problems and they invested $6.5 million in the newest Yemeni-Turkish school.

According the their website, Yemeni-Turkish schools pursue the policy that full cooperation between the school and the parents is a crucial factor for the development of students’ potentials. (3) According to this pedagogy, school is the smiling face of education. Teachers are filled with tender feelings toward the students. Students then become the brilliant future of the world. They teach respect for diversity in this tribal country. These schools are equipped with modern technology such as classes with smart boards, and multimedia systems. They try to discover talented students and support them to improve their talents. This is the environment inside the Yemeni-Turkish Schools.

But, what is happening outside?

Fifty percent of Sana’a does not have basic utilities. You see all around soldiers who carry heavy guns. You may see even civilians who carry guns. They just pass by you!

Turkish businessmen make their donations to good causes under such circumstances in order to spread love. Fethullah Gulen says, “if we do not plant the seeds of love in the hearts of young people, whom we try to revive through science, knowledge, and modern culture, they will never attain moral perfection.” (4)

Gulen and those who are inspired by him, whether they are businessmen or teachers at those schools, are trying to build a long-awaited civilization. This civilization may only be built on unconditional love and respect for all creation as God’s creation. The best way to achieve this ideal is investment in education.

We are in an era in which we are swinging between hope and despair. I am personally hopeful. A bright future is awaiting us.

(1) The Guardian, October 19, 2012

(2) HizmetNews.COM, October 21, 2012

(3) Yemeni-Turkish Schools

(4) Fethullah Gulen official website

Levent Koç* is former director of the Peace Islands Institute.

 

Source: , November 9, 2012


Related News

Pioneering Turkish teachers realize long-sought dream

MUSTAFA EDİB YILMAZ, KIZILCAHAMAM While traveling from downtown Ankara to the tourist district of Kızılcahamam in springtime, one definitely notices how fabulous the poppies are that cover the hillsides. It would be difficult for many travelers to imagine a better view. However, for about a week this conclusion is certainly untrue for anyone whose destination […]

Students from Turkish Schools in Thailand Visited the Minister of Trade at His Home

A group of teachers and students from Turkish schools in Thailand, who participated in various international Olympiads, visited the minister of trade Mr. Boonsong Teriyapirom at his home. Yusuf Can Bektas, who is in charge of the Olympiads among Turkish schools in Thailand, Raneenat  Chaiwong, the representative of Fatih Koleji ( Whichai Wittaya) and Arif […]

Needy Romanians provided with aid by students of Turkish school

Students studying at International Bucharest College, opened by entrepreneurs affiliated with Hizmet Movement, distributed aid boxes to economically disadvantaged students at the weekend. Arriving at Dambovitsa village, 45 kilometers away from Bucharest, students from 42 different nations went to the houses of the people and gave them aid boxes.

Is the AK Party turning into the old CHP?

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and EU Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had attributed the EU and global media’s criticisms of the AK Party administration’s mistakes to the Hizmet movement.

EU Criticizes Kosovo, Turkey Over Deportation Of Six Erdogan Political Foes

The European Union on April 3 criticized Kosovo’s deportation of six Turks who were political foes of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying it “raised questions” about both Pristina’s and Ankara’s “respect” for human rights.

Bridges of love extending from Konya to Kenya

Kimse Yok Mu volunteers have taken action to heal Kenya where 68 people lost their lives in a terrorist attack last month. Thanks to the Anatolian philanthropists and volunteers, thousands of African families were able to enjoy Eid al-Adha sprit fully, as it should be. 160 Konya (a central Turkey province) philanthropists and volunteers under […]

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Turkish coup d’état: a failed test for the EU

Turks mobilize to join solidarity campaign for Bank Asya

Boat carrying Turkish asylum seekers capsizes off Greece, killing 3 children and 3 others

Ex-ministers call on gov’t to abandon efforts to shut down Turkish schools

8 detained in police raids on İzmir schools as Erdoğan’s witch hunt continues

Turkey Wants Mongolia To Shut Down Turkish Schools

Teachers, parents oppose Pak-Turk Schools takeover

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News