Kuwaiti youths’ com­bat of rad­i­cal ide­olo­gies ‘amaz­ing’: US diplo­mat

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Kuwaiti youths’ cre­ativ­ity in com­bat­ing rad­i­cal­iza­tion and ex­trem­ism via so­cial me­dia and other tech­no­log­i­cal means is amaz­ing and highly ap­pre­ci­ated, said Ni­cole Chulick, Deputy Co­or­di­na­tor for Prod­ucts in the Bureau of In­ter­na­tional In­for­ma­tion Programs at the US State Depart­ment.

Fol­low­ing a work­shop or­ga­nized by the Amer­i­can Em­bassy un­der the ti­tle (Tech-Camp) late Tues­day, Chulick said that it was very en­cour­ag­ing from the Kuwaiti gov­ern­ment to take part in such an event which re­flected keen­ness in coun­ter­ing ter­ror­ism and false in­for­ma­tion on so­cial me­dia.

Tech-Camp, the first event of its kind to be held in the Gulf re­gion, is help­ing in dis­pelling wrong ideas about the Mus­lim world, said Clulick who af­firmed that the youth here, with their home­grown ideas, pro­duced cre­ative meth­ods that were amaz­ingly re­fut­ing ter­ror­ist ide­olo­gies.

The par­tic­i­pants from most min­istries have proven that they were ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing ef­fec­tive mea­sures to counter neg­a­tive mes­sages on so­cial me­dia via spread­ing aware­ness on the vi­tal is­sue through per­sonal ac­counts and other ap­pli­ca­tions, Chulick af­firmed.

“Kuwait has an im­por­tant lead­ing role in help­ing to host such an event like Tech-Camp,” she said. Par­tic­i­pants from the pri­vate sec­tor also showed great in­ter­est in com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism through so­cial me­dia out­lets like Face­book, Twit­ter, In­sta­gram, YouTube, and Span­pchat, she added.

Kuwait’s keen­ness on be­ing part of the global fight against ter­ror­ism is very im­por­tant, said the US diplo­mat, adding that this threat was be­com­ing part of an in­ter­na­tional is­sue that needed to be ad­dressed promptly.

“If we are go­ing to com­bat on­line rad­i­cal­iza­tion in our com­mu­ni­ties, we need to in­volve the full sup­port from your com­mu­ni­ties. We need ev­ery voice,” said Chulick, adding “I have said in the Tech-Champ work­shop that we as in­di­vid­u­als should be re­spon­si­ble in what we say in pub­lic and on so­cial net­works... To check the con­tent of what we re­ceive and what we watch... It is our re­spon­si­bil­ity first, we should start with our­selves then spread these ideas to other in­di­vid­u­als.”

She em­pha­sized “The United States has an obli­ga­tion to con­tinue its fight against ter­ror­ism on so­cial me­dia and by con­tin­u­ing more Tech-Camps and work­shop in many re­gions to spread more aware­ness.”

“I be­lieve that the prob­lem of us­ing so­cial net­work in pro­mot­ing vi­o­lence and ter­ror­ism is an on­go­ing prob­lem and we have an obli­ga­tion to fight such rad­i­cal move­ments that are spread­ing rapidly around the world.” In her clos­ing state­ments, Chulick en­cour­aged Kuwaiti youth to con­tinue post­ing in­for­ma­tion and up­dates on their ac­tiv­i­ties, stay en­gaged, and carry on col­lab­o­rat­ing with one an­other, af­firm­ing that “All young peo­ple have a vi­tal role. They are the most cred­i­ble voice to con­front false nar­ra­tives aiming to tar­get their peers and their com­mu­ni­ties.” — KUNA

Ni­cole Chulick, Deputy Co­or­di­na­tor for Prod­ucts in the Bureau of In­ter­na­tional In­for­ma­tion Programs at the US State Depart­ment.

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