Yemeni peace laureate to deliver keynote speech on the matter in Cape Town today

Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Picture: REUTERS/UESLEI MARCELINIO

Tawakkol Karman, 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Picture: REUTERS/UESLEI MARCELINIO

Published Oct 13, 2023


Cape Town - As the global community faces incessant threats to peace and stability – and there is more violence within communities in South Africa – the voices at a Peace Dialogue and Youth Conference taking place this weekend should be amplified.

Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakkol Karman, a human rights activist, journalist and politician from Yemen, will be a keynote speaker at the Power of Peace Dialogue in Cape Town today.

The 7th Annual PeaceJam South Africa Youth Leadership Conference will start today and runs until Sunday. It is hosted by Mentoring PeaceBuilders South Africa, an affiliate of the PeaceJam Foundation.

At the age of 32, Karman is the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate as well as the first Arab woman and the second Muslim woman to receive the prestigious recognition.

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Karman in recognition of her “non-violent struggle for democracy” and advocating for women’s rights in Yemen.

During the Arab Spring, referred to at the time as “The Mother of the Revolution” and in the face of increasing threats made to her life, Karman led peaceful protests for democracy and freedom of speech in Yemen.

She is also the founder of Women Journalists Without Chains and was imprisoned and persecuted as a result of her active engagement, according to a Nobel Prize statement.

A Power of Peace Dialogue, in partnership with the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, will start at 6pm today at the Old Granary Building, Buitenkant Street, Cape Town.

The dialogue session will take the form of a panel discussion and will include Karman, PeaceJam Foundation vice-president Lauren Coffaro, Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation CEO Janet Jobson, Mosaic Training Services and Healing Centre for Women executive director Tarisai Mchuchu-Mac Millan, and community leader and advocate Talethia Edwards.

The Peace Conference tomorrow and Sunday is expected to see hundreds of young people, aged between 14 and 24 years, who are interested in becoming agents of positive change in their communities and world gathering at the Chrysalis Academy in Cape Town.

Approximately 400 learners from 19 different high schools and youth organisations, along with over 50 university mentors, will attend.

Mentoring PeaceBuilders South Africa NPC is a non-profit organisation that aims to create a culture of peace by empowering young people to become leaders and peacemakers.

The organisation is part of the PeaceJam Foundation, a global movement of 14 Noble Peace Laureates who mentor young people to change the world through service and education.

“The world is in need of new ideas and approaches and this new generation of young people is uniquely qualified to understand and address the complex problems of violence facing humanity.

“Our Youth Peacebuilding Conferences and Lectures offer engaging and safe spaces to nurture young people and help them realise their potential to tackle issues head-on,” Mentoring PeaceBuilders South Africa NPC co-founder and director Earl Mentor said.

“We want to build awareness of the Power of Peace in the light of the ongoing violence in our high-conflict communities in South Africa. We want to also discuss peace to help transform our collective consciousness through the courageous pursuit of healing our nation through dialogue and action.”

Tickets for the Peace Dialogue can be purchased at R150 via Quicket:

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