An Open Letter by David A. Jones
On December 25, 2009, a 23-year-old Nigerian citizen named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up a plane headed for the United States with a bomb hidden in his undershorts. The failed plot reportedly was hatched by al-Qaeda (AQAP) in Yemen, creating worldwide curiosity about the small country located on the Arabian Peninsula.
Peace & Guidance for Spiritual Tolerance in the Arabian Pensula
We ignore Yemen at our own risk I recently read an article in a journal recently somewhere. I think it is fair to see Yemen and its people as being tied to the recent terrorist activity of al Qaeda in the Arabian Pensula now called “AQAP” but my view after visiting Yemen last December 2009,was somehow very different from the news coming out of the country. For one it is poor but still progressing, it is Islamic to a degree that I have never seen, mosques are everywhere like churches in West or Temples in Asia it poses no threat due to religionist edict Muslim whom are entitled to their beliefs. What is Yemen? It is a very radically different place from any other place I could have imagined. It is as if one has gone back in time. It is very ancient and modern. It is not safe as I would like to feel either. Yemen has marginal water supplies, roads are crowed and driving rules of the road are unknown, corruption is present. In spite of this all the type’s things are happening in a new emerging society that need development assistance issues are present in gender equality to educational institutions the need for employment and business. Yet Yemen is also a rather friendly, exciting and challenging place to go. There are issues that need to be addressed and that is why, I feel that there needs to be more focus on helping that country prevent internal and external conflict from emerging.
“Yemen is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the Arab World, with a formal 65% employment rate, dwindling natural resources, and a large number of young people increasing its population growth. Yemen depends on its small oil reserves that are expected deplete by 2017, possibly bringing on economic collapse.” (Wikipedia)
People on both sides of politics agree that, “Yemen is ignored at our own risk.” In “TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime,” Jeralyn E. Merritt writes:
“AQAP’s goal is to further weaken an already ailing Yemeni government and turn it into a safe haven for itself and al-Qaida members who are being kicked out of other countries. Yemen’s problems will extend far outside of Yemen if they aren’t addressed globally now, and if the U.S. were to be myopic enough to focus more on counterterrorism than on supplying significantly increased developmental aid.”
My role in the world since leaving The Caux Scholars Programin 1997 cohort is of Change and Transformation Agent and has lead me to my current negotiating work with governmental officials in Sana, Yemen on creating regional dialogues between tribal Sheiks around religious and territorial claims intended to prevent future Jihad holy warriors from joining AQAP. Our new names is, “The Guidance and Tolerance Project in the Arabian Pensula without Borders” (formerly known as Religious without Borders USA) and we have secured a governmental agreement with Yemeni ministries for developing dialogue workshops in the country. Now we seek project specific funding from organizations and individuals who see our role as change agent facilitators within Yemen as critical to safety and security in the world.
I believe without friends coming in and lending a hand to assist, Yemen will become another Afghanistan. Yemeni need to find ways to create their own peace building and dialogue process; The Guidance and Tolerance Project in the Arabian Pensula without Borders, facilitators have years of international experience in education and work around Conflict Resolution in many areas around the world with fragile governance processes and that, are on the brink of internal collapse due to imploding demands that were not being met by their governments. The Guidance and Tolerance Project in the Arabian Pensula without Borders has spent the last two years building trust, ties and connections within the country with NGO and community organizations.
I will be returning to Yemen next month January 2011 to meet with the founder Ammindab Munyaneza and tribal leaders and government officials to continue working on creating a more stable environment for our mission. I would like to invite those of you who have an interest in preventing another conflict in the Islamic world to provide a letters of support for this work. I also make an open invitation to any of you to meet Ammindab Munyaneza or myself to further discuss this peace building process for conflict prevention in Yemen.
We could use letters of support for our work in Yemen also. So far we’ve been in Sana working without funding, but now we’ve reached a point where we need help. I’m writing you to help us find funds for this honorable work. We already know what happens when a country falls under al Qaeda influence. It makes no sense to create more violence in the world—we already have far more than enough to work on. One unmanned drone bomb cost is equivalent to a million dollar investment. The Guidance and Tolerance Project in the Arabian Pensula without Borders can bring a better return on that investment for a quarter of the cost and a better outcome for peace. 2017 is not that far away. We need your help now. Thank you.
Chairman of “The Guidance and Tolerance Project in the Arabian Pensula without Borders”
David A. Jones,
PO Box 6828 Portland Oregon 97228-6828