Arab interior ministers call for joint security action to confront terrorism

Arab Interior Ministers Council held its 35th session on Wednesday. (SPA)
Updated 07 March 2018

Arab interior ministers call for joint security action to confront terrorism

ALGIERS: Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud called for intensified cooperation among the security agencies to confront terrorism when the Arab Interior Ministers Council held its 35th session on Wednesday

The Council met under the patronage of Algerian President Abdul Aziz Bouteflika and with the participation of the supreme security delegations in addition to representatives of a number of Arab and UN institutions.

Prince Abdul Aziz, Saudi Arabia's interior minister, said: “In light of successive events targeting the security, stability, and unity of our Arab homeland, we gather today to confront the consequences of these events with determination and common destiny. It is no secret that our council is one of the pillars of confronting all evils that target our societies.

“With regard to the Iranian blatant interferences in various countries in the world, particularly the Arab countries, and its support for terrorism to destabilize and tear apart societies through its terrorist and extremist arms which were founded and nurtured in a number of our Arab countries, we have to confront this danger, particularly that these terrorist organizations challenge legitimate governments and abduct the decision-making and sovereignty from these governments,” he added.

The prince called for intensifying cooperation among the security agencies in various fields and to push the Arab joint security action.

The session was attended by security delegations and representatives of the Arab League, the Arab Maghreb Union, Interpol, and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism.

Algerian Interior Minister Noureddine Badawi stressed the importance of coordinating and intensifying efforts among Arab interior ministers to preserve the Arab world’s safety. Badawi also stressed the need to join hands in order to fight the terrorism some Arab countries have suffered from.

Syrian children study on the ground in abandoned villa

Displaced Syrian children attend class at a makeshift school in the village of Muhandiseen, in the south western countryside of the Aleppo province, on September 24, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 25 September 2018

Syrian children study on the ground in abandoned villa

  • Some sit with their knees drawn on a plastic woven carpet, their shoes neatly by its side

ALEPPO, Syria: In rebel-held northern Syria, displaced children sit or lie on the ground of an unfinished villa, bending over their notebooks to apply themselves as they write the day’s lesson.
Four teachers instruct around 100 children — girls and boys aged six to 12 — at the makeshift school in an opposition-held area in the west of the northern province of Aleppo.
Between the bare walls of the villa abandoned mid-construction, children sit or lie on sheets or plain carpets, their small backpacks cast by their side.
Dubbed “Buds of Hope,” the teaching facility has no desks, library or even working toilets.
Instead, the air wafts in from beyond the pine trees outside through the gaping windows in the cement wall.
Dressed in a bright blue T-shirt and jeans, her hair neatly tied back in a pony tail, a barefoot girl kneels over her book, carefully writing.
“This isn’t a school,” says 11-year-old Ali Abdel Jawad.
“There aren’t any classrooms, no seats, nothing. We’re sitting on the ground,” he says.
In one classroom, a gaggle of veiled young girls sit on a bench, as the teacher explains the lesson to one of their male counterparts near a rare white board.
In another, the school’s only female teacher perches on a plastic chair, as her students gather around on the floor, their backs against the wall.

Some sit with their knees drawn on a plastic woven carpet, their shoes neatly by its side.
The children — as well as their teachers — have been displaced from their homes in other parts of Syria due to the seven-year war, a teacher told an AFP photographer.
Some hail from Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus, a former rebel stronghold that fell back under regime control in April after a blistering offensive and surrender deals.
Others come from the central provinces of Hama or Homs.
A dry fountain lies in the courtyard outside the villa’s elegant facade, where girls link arms and swing around in a circle.
Schools in opposition-held areas are generally funded by aid organizations, but have in the past been hit by bombardment.
“We’re always scared of bombardment and of the situation in general,” says one of the teachers, giving his name as Mohammed.
The building lies in rebel-held territory adjacent to regime-controlled parts of Aleppo city to the east, but also the major opposition stronghold of Idlib to the west.
Some three million people live in the Idlib province and adjacent areas of the neighboring Aleppo and Latakia provinces, around half of them displaced by war in other parts of Syria.
Earlier this month, many feared a regime assault on Idlib, but last week Damascus ally Moscow and rebel backer Ankara announced a deal to temporarily halt it.