Taiz Youth Court sues Youth and Sports Ministry [Archives:2008/1161/Local News]

May 5 2008

TAIZ, May 31 ) The Taiz Youth Court, a project of the non-governmental organization called the National Center for Culture and Youth, sued Yemen's Ministry of Youth and Sports for negligence in providing the young people of Taiz with cultural and sporting events.

Representatives from the ministry and members of Parliament's Education and Youth Committee attended the mock voluntary trial at which Taizi youths aired their grievances about the lack of sports facilities and the ministry's seemingly carelessness attitude toward them.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Ahmed Al-Ashari admitted before the 200 attendees that there is a real absence of cultural and social activities for Taizi youths and their clubs. He promised to increase the role of cultural and social committees for all Yemeni youths, but particularly for Taizi youths. “The sport ministry is now reconsidering its activities, and already has been planning with education ministry to carry out social, cultural, educational, and sports programs within summer camps in schools,” he added.

The attendees recommended the Yemeni government create a project agenda, despite disagreements between the various political parties, because the programs implemented should be non-partisan in spirit.

The Youth Court also requested the Youth and Sports Ministry construct at least two facilities nearby – one sports hall and one multipurpose stadium – further requesting the ministry budget for clubs and events, particularly in the countryside, as rural residents make up three-quarters of Yemen's population.

Established in 2006 by an initiative from the National Center for Culture and Youth, the Youth Court now has more than 200 members of both sexes affiliated with various political parties, as well as Taiz University.

As the center's director, Abdullah Abdulillah, explains, “The Youth Court seeks to improve youths' practical capacities and skills in the field, as well as [promote] the exchange of opinions because effective participation will help solve the problems [Yemeni youths] face.”

Now in its second session (2008-2009), the Youth Court is dedicated to looking into youth problems, such as the absence of cultural and sporting activities, as well as increasing participation at youth clubs.

Additionally, the court hopes to compel the Yemeni government to expand its budget for youth activities by offering suggestions for current and upcoming youth program implementation throughout the country.