MENARY Monitor – Edition 106
April 9, 2023
Politics and Political Engagement
Yemen’s official sources revealed that an agreement has been reached to extend the armistice in Yemen until the end of this year and extended to include humanitarian and economic measures. The agreement is said to also include opening the Sanaa airport to wider flights, resuming the export of oil from Yemen’s ports, consolidating currency and disbursing salaries to civilian and military employees, opening the roads in Taiz and other areas, and releasing prisoners as part of the agreement signed between the Yemeni Government and the Houthis in Switzerland. The source indicated that the meeting with Saudi Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman, which brought together members of the Presidential Leadership Council under the chairmanship of Rashad al-Alimi, was to brief the Yemeni leadership on the understandings reached by Saudi Arabia with the Houthis over the past period. According to the same sources, the armistice extension agreement would be announced within hours after the Houthi’s approval and accompanied by the signing of a general framework for a political solution.
The first phase of Euro-Med Monitor’s Beirut-based Youth for Rights Fellowship program, has concluded. The program spans a total of four months and enrolls over 20 young people from various MENA countries. This initiative is part of the Euro-Med Monitor overall strategy to provide youth with a platform and turn victims of human rights violations across the region, who are often passive recipients of outside aid, into active defenders of their own rights. It included intensive training and lectures on human rights work, international law, international humanitarian law, procedural mechanisms for defending human rights, and practical steps to achieve these mechanisms. During the second phase, fellows will undertake two months of practical training in partner human rights organizations.
Economics and Entrepreneurship
The Information and Decision Support Center of the Council of Ministers, in Egypt, released a new paper titled “The Role of Fintech in Reducing the Digital Divide between Rural and Urban Egypt“. The paper provides recommendations to decision makers that help reduce the urban-rural digital divide by expanding the application and use of “Fintech”, which has been defined as modern technologies and techniques employed in the provision of financial services rather than traditional financial means such as innovative applications, procedures, products, and business models provided online using sophisticated technological means. The digital divide has been defined as the gap between those who have access to affordable digital technology services while being able to use it as opposed to those who lack it.
The Promising Aden Youth Foundation, in partnership with the Civil Network for Media, Development, and Human Rights, launched the second training camp program for 400 trainees. The program, which will last for 6 days, aims to strengthen the capacities of youth of Aden in three basic areas: management, strategic planning, and communication. The Undersecretary of Aden for Development Affairs emphasized the importance of the training program in enhancing young people’s capacities in areas that enable them to engage in the labor market and contribute to the building of government institutions during the next phase.
The Israeli occupation forces arrested six young men from different areas of occupied Jerusalem after searching their homes, tampering with their belongings and confiscating their personal phones. The Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that a Palestinian citizen was killed and another critically wounded by Israeli occupation forces while storming the city of Nablus. In Nablus alone, since the beginning of this year, the death toll has risen to 93 Palestinians, including 17 children and women.
The Israeli judiciary extended the arrests of 17 young Palestinian detainees arrested by the Israeli police for allegedly “disrupting the regime” while participating in protests in Arab towns over occupation violations at Al-Aqsa Mosque. The police threatened to act decisively and use “all available means” to prosecute and suppress those they described as “hooligans”. The police had arrested a number of protesters, including minors, who had participated in the protests in several Palestinian towns. Police forces reportedly assaulted the protesters and tried to disperse them by force using stun grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas canisters.
A Palestinian youth was shot by the Israeli occupation forces in Wadi al-Fara’a, south of Tubas, in the occupied West Bank. According to Ma’an News Agency, medical sources indicated that a young man was shot in the left shoulder, after which he was taken to Tubas Public Hospital. Local sources reported that the young man was wounded while stopping by the roadside to repair a malfunction in his vehicle, as enemy forces stormed the area and confrontations broke out. the Palestinian Red Crescent Society also indicated that its crews had dealt with dozens of asphyxiations caused by tear gas inhalation in Beit Djan, Beta, and Qurayut in Nablus governorate.
The Israeli occupation forces shot dead a Palestinian youth during an incursion into the northern West Bank town of Azzoun. Ahed Salim, 20, was hit in the chest and belly by live fire. Since the start of 2023, Israeli forces have killed at least 93 Palestinians, in what the Palestinian health ministry has described as the deadliest start to a year since 2000.
Iranian authorities are installing cameras in public places to identify and penalize unveiled women. After they have been identified, violators will receive “warning text messages as to the consequences”, the Iranian police said in a statement. The move is aimed at “preventing resistance against the hijab law,” adding that such resistance tarnishes the country’s spiritual image and spreads insecurity. The police statement called on owners of businesses to “seriously monitor the observance of societal norms with their diligent inspections”.
VICE Media Group has published the first edition of “The State of Arab Youth”, which provides insights into the current mindsets, aspirations, and behaviors of youth in MENA. VICE conducted the online survey with 2,134 young people aged 16 to 41 in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Key insights can be categorized into four main pillars: the concept of Arab youth identity is evolving; the community is broadcasting new cultures through expression; advancements in culture are being fueled by digital connectivity; and unmatched ambition is opening up new worlds. According to the survey, 52% of youth pointed to personality as the main driver of their identity, while 49% attributed it to family and 47% education – all three were found to be stronger in the region than traditional markers of identity, such as age and gender. Nearly half of the respondents defined success as “when I feel happy / content,” while 45% said success was about “achieving a good work life balance”.
200 young Egyptian girls from the Kafr al-Sheikh Youth Center participated in the leadership program for girls “Rehana“. Program activities and events include lectures on leadership, legal rights, entrepreneurship, etiquette, community participation, as well as interactive dialogues.
The Emirati Youth Council of the Archives and the National Library, together with the Youth Council of the Integrated Transport Center and the General Women’s Union Youth Council, discussed ways to enhance constructive communication with a view to cooperating, exchanging experiences and raising awareness of the role of young people in sustainable development.
The Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation stated that the Ministry is working to support and develop training programs for young engineers and researchers in all areas related to optimal water resources management. One way of implementing the “International Water Sector Adaptation Initiative“, launched by Egypt during COP27, involves building water capacity, through the Regional Training Center for Water Resources while developing its institutional capacities and improving the quality of its training. The Center holds 235 training courses for 5,500 trainees per year in addition to six training courses for 150 Arab and African trainees annually.
The Directorate of Youth and Sports in Kafr el-Sheikh, Egypt, launched a one-day camp titled “Our Children Our Future“, in the Shannu Youth Center, attended by 90 adolescents. The camp included workshops on climate change, environmental activities, community service and citizenship.