新日本婦人の会 日本原水協 日本母親大会 日本平和委員会

Leila Ben Said Ben Yahmed

2016年  原水禁世界大会に参加
Leila Ben Said Ben Yahmed


Oleander Initiative of the University of the Middle East Project
No Nukes! Women’s Forum 2016

Good afternoon!

It’s my great pleasure to participate in the “No Nukes! Women’s Forum 2016” and I feel immensely privileged and honored to be here with you and speak about my country Tunisia.

First I’d like to thank Ray Matsumiya the executive director of the university of the Middle East in Boston for all his efforts to help teachers from the MENA region have a voice and grow up professionally through the Middle East Oleander Initiative. My thanks also go to the Women’s Peace Fund for assisting my participation in the World Conference.

Honestly, I hardly cared about nuclear weapons before. No one in my country seems to be  aware of the real threat that they pose as we are more concerned with social and political stability . But with what’ s going on in the world today and more specifically in Tunisia, I decided to apply for the New Oleander Initiative program to learn more the destructive effects of these “dirty bombs “ and help raise my students awareness about the importance of banning these weapons and building a culture of peace.

In fact, despite being looked upon  as the only successful democratic transition among the Arab world uprisings ,Tunisia ‘s democracy is fragile and it is still vulnerable to the unexpected and heartbreaking events it has witnessed this year .It would also be misleading to consider post-revolutionary Tunisia a proof of a success story. We are now used to be confronted with many sad news: violence, rape, terrorism , ongoing attacks against military forces and  horrific attacks against tourists.

What would happen if a terrorist group like ISIS gets hold of nuclear weapons?

On the question of gender equality, we are often told that we are fully enjoying our rights compared to women in the rest of the Arab world. Tunisian women have always been envied for the freedom they have. They have always been in the front line of the continuous fight for freedom and democracy and their participation in the revolution is an evident example of their struggle against any form of repression.

Tunisia‘s adoption of a constitution guaranteeing equal rights and protection from gender-based violence is a huge step forward for women and girls.

Yet, there exist some discriminatory laws that show that there is much work to do. We have no clear trajectory of secured care and support services for female survivors of violence.

Although we are a Muslim country, Polygamy has been forbidden by law for many years but some extremists are now asking for making it legal. Sadly, more and more schoolgirls, regardless of their social background, are driven into the arms of extremists groups like ISIS. They are asked to join for sexual Jihad.

What Tunisians need now is a revolution in the minds of people. We need to integrate peace education. Education is not about what you need to know to memorize to please the teacher or to get good grades.

I really hope to create a conflict-prevention and resolution training programs in my school and other schools. We have no educational resources to achieve this goal but with strong determination, I think a teacher can transform societies toward a culture of peace.

I was so moved by the story of Sadako Sazaki. It s is a resource that I can use to empower both girls and boys in my school, so I‘m planning to teach it to my students. I want them to know how resilient people can be in the face of disasters and how comforting the traditional Japanese culture was for them. I want them to learn that Hiroshima doesn’t only stand for the catastrophic tragedy of war but for a city that rose from ashes.

I want my students to use the Sadako’‘s courage and other inspiring stories. I will learn at the Oleander Initiative program to reflect on the past in hopes of building a more peaceful future.

Young people are the present and their involvement is necessary for human development, they are capable of assuming responsibility, all they need is the opportunity and guidance to prove their ability.

Thank you for your attention!