US promotes peace through ‘TechCamp’
KUWAIT: To counter technology based terrorism, the US State Department launched the ‘TechCamp: Promoting Peace and Tolerance with Technology’ program in Kuwait for the first time. TechCamp is an initiative by the bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) at the US Department of State. Through this two-day program, which was held at Dar Al-Athar Islamiyah (Yarmouk Cultural Center), the US continues to work together with countries all over the world to counter online radicalization and the recruitment of youth by extremist groups.
“We welcome opportunities like this, to build power among organizations and groups working together to counter this key social challenge,” said US Ambassador Lawrence Silverman, as he inaugurated the TechCamp. According to Silverman, the initiative has two major parts; first, the technology (equipment), and second, the content of the message. “It is the combination of technology and the content related to tolerance and moderation which might prevent people from being swayed by radical ideologies and violence. The TechCamp is about interaction and learning,” he said.
More than a dozen people from various agencies have been invited to participate and share their knowledge, skills, and subjects related to TechCamp. The IIP was represented by Deputy Assistant Secretary Nicole Chulick. “This is the Gulf’s first regional TechCamp, and we are delighted to host it in Kuwait. The next two days are going to be high in energy, productivity, and collaboration,” he said. He also praised the University of Southern California for partnering with the US Department of State to organize a symposium at the Sunnylands Estate on entertainment and its relevance to television markets worldwide, with regard to the issues we face.
“Television professionals from the Middle East and South Asia met with American counterparts to discuss ways for popular entertainment to inform and inspire audiences to fight intolerance, bigotry, and sectarianism; and counter violent extremism,” he said. He also mentioned Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs, quoting her as saying: “this gathering of mind and spirit has left me both inspired and challenged.”
“I wish the same sentiment for you as you participate in TechCamp Kuwait, which has the same aim as the Sunnylands symposium; you have all come here today to use collective innovation to find beneficial ways to fight a common social foe,” said the ambassador, quoting Sheikha Al-Zain. Ambassador Lawrence said that the multi-faceted campaign to eradicate terrorism and violence in the Middle East continues, and stressed that it has to be done from the security perspective and must be constant.
KUWAIT: US Ambassador to Kuwait Lawrence Silverman speaks during an event to launch the ‘TechCamp: Promoting Peace and Tolerance with Technology’ program.