Yemen: Houthi Summer Camps Continue To Educate To Hatred Of The U.S. And Israel

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July 28, 2021

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On May 23, 2021, camps for children described as "summer camps," sponsored by the Ministry for Youth and Sport operated by the Houthis, were opened in areas of Yemen controlled by Houthis under the slogan, "Knowledge and Jihad."

The Houthi government Al-Thawra daily reported that these camps would be opened in more than 6,000 "summer centers" and more than 650,000 students from elementary and high schools had registered to attend. This is a significant increase in comparison with the previous year, when such camps were opened in about 4,000 centers and fewer than 500,000 students attended them. The two-month-long sessions, which concluded on July 16, included religious studies, lessons about agriculture, and sports activities.[1]

The Houthis attribute great significance to these camps, which were opened at the behest of the Houthi leader 'Abd Al-Malik Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi, in order to indoctrinate the younger generation.


The closing ceremony for the "summer camps" in the Saada Governorate (Source: Ansarollah.com, July 16, 2021)


The closing ceremony for the "summer camp" in the Hajjah Governorate (Source: Ansarollah.com, July 16, 2021)

In the past, it was reported that these camps encourage hatred of the U.S. and Israel and educate to jihad and martyrdom[2] and, especially based on the name given to the camps, it appears that this year's curriculum included similar elements.

In an article published on the Hizbullah Alahed News website on July 20, 2021, to mark the end of the camp period, the chairman of the professional committee for summer camps, Usama Al-Mahtouri, said, "The response this year amazed everyone, especially after the leader ['Abd Al-Malik Badr Al-Din Al-Houthi] opened the summer camps despite the limited resources due to the siege and the oppressive aggression suffered by our people… this response is in the context of the general confrontation with the enemies of Allah. There is no choice but to train a generation armed with the culture of the Quran, with an awareness of a creed-based identity which will protect it from the cultural and moral enemy."

The article states that "the curriculum was created in accordance with the instructions from the leader and focuses on Quran studies, developing [self-]awareness and the spirit of jihad so as to withstand the enemies of the Islamic nation."

According to the report on the Alahed News website, alongside sports activities for boys and crafts workshops for girls, one of the major subjects taught at the summer camps was "the primary issue of the Islamic nation," i.e. Jerusalem. Usama Al-Mahtouri says that "one of the main founding principles of our culture is the development of the students' awareness of the Palestinian issue, and to teach them who is the enemy of the Islamic nation." He asserts, "This generation has jihadist power, something which greatly frightens the enemy. And even if it is just a matter of repeating slogans such as, 'Death to America,' and 'Death to Israel,' that is enough."

Abdallah Al-Razihi, the director of the Department for Summertime Activity Affairs at the Ministry of Youth and Sport, said that the summer camps focused on this issue and "instilled hostility toward the oppressive enemy Israel…"

He notes that the summer camps were very successful in the struggle against the ideas that "the mercenaries and collaborators within Yemen and outside it attempted to disseminate among our sons and daughters at their schools and by means of social media," and that the summer camps "are one of the most important means available to counter the American aggression."[3]

The Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily owned by Saudi Arabia, which for the past six years has been involved in the bloody war against the Houthis, reports that Hizbullah-Lebanon is involved in the curricula taught at the summer camps. The daily reports that according to "one of the teachers at Sanaa" the curriculum includes speeches by Houthi leaders; battle-oriented computer games; the glorification of Houthi leaders who were killed in battle against Yemeni government forces supported by Saudi Arabia, and the misrepresentation of the true opponents, saying that the Houthi leaders were killed in confrontations with the U.S. and Israel.[4]

 

 


[1] Althawrah.ye, May 23, 3031.

[3] Alahednews.com.lb, July 20, 2021.

[4] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), May 24, 2021.

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