Mukalla, Yemen – The Intellectuals Conference, hosted by the Sana’a Center in Mukalla, held its concluding sessions today.
The conference covered a number of topics, such as the role of intellectuals in Yemen’s future, the future of the state in Yemen, the role of non-state armed groups, and the southern issue. An interactive session was also held during which representatives from the United Nations’ Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen shared the ideas on how to move forward towards a ceasefire in the country.
The conference included many prominent Yemeni figures, including former journalists, authors, novelists, artists, publishers and leading figures in the 2011 Yemen Uprising.
Acclaimed Poet and Novelist Nabila al-Zubair, head of the Sa’ada Team at the National Dialogue Conference, said among other comments that former UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths had failed to achieve any progress, while his predecessor, Ismael Weld Al-Sheikh Ahmad, also failed despite his best efforts.
The closing session focused on lessons learnt and recommendations that included finding ways to reduce civilian harm, such as the implementation of community safety initiatives as a way to empower communities to improve the treatment of civilians by armed factions.
Sana’a Center Executive Director Maged Al-Madhaji said that this conference is the first step towards holding more in-depth discussions that raise the voices of Yemeni intellectuals.
The Center held a book signing for Yemeni Author Ryan al-Shibani who signed his latest novel, “The Burning Field,” on the sidelines of the conference.
This conference was held in partnership with the EU Commission, the EU Delegation to Yemen and the German and Canadian foreign ministries.
Author and journalist Gamal Hassan (L) and Sana’a Center Executive Maged al-Madhaji
Managing Editor of Yemen Future Website Thuraya Dammaj
Leading female figure in the 2011 Yemen Uprising and Sana’a Center Researcher Bilqees al-Labahi
Al-Sharea newspaper Managing Editor Alawi al-Saqqaf
Former Director of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate Abdulbari Taher
Journalist Nashwan al-Othmani
Author and journalist Mohammed al-Alaiay
Novelist Ryan Al-Shibani