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In recorded speech aired at Istanbul-based conference, Tawakkol Karman says: struggle for desired change is irrevocably strategic option

The human rights activist and Nobel Peace laureate Tawakkol Karman stated that the peaceful struggle for the desired change is an irrevocably strategic option for peoples, stressing that the nation of citizens but not of subjects is the ultimate goal of people's struggle and their ultimate dream.

This came during a remote participation of Tawakkol Karman in a two-day conference under the title: Arab Future Conference: from a Nation of subjects into a Nation of Citizens, organized by the Arab Council in Istanbul. 

She stressed the conference is looking for the future, which should be like neither the past nor the present which is widely controlled by the counter-revolutionary forces.

Karman pointed out that the Arab Spring revolutions have toppled all attempts to stereotype the peoples of the Arab region and to be hostile to universal civil values, such as civilization, freedom and human rights, and proved that the peoples of our region yearn for freedom and for building countries based on citizenship and human rights.


The future free of citizenship, the rule of law or the peaceful transfer of power, she added, is no longer accepted by anyone, with emphasis on the fact that peoples are able to overthrow all forms of tyranny and at all levels.

She criticized “the Western governments' dishonoring support for the coup against democracy,” noting that although many Western countries have long spoken about the importance of democracy, they stood by the enemies of democracy when the decisive moment arrived. 

She said that the Arab Spring has proved that the peoples of our region yearn for freedom and for building states based on citizenship and human rights, integrity and accountability of rulers.

"We are not an exception, but we are able to do it again and overthrow tyranny in all its forms and at all levels."

"Today we are here to reiterate our firm faith and absolute belief that the people alone are sovereign and the source of all powers empowered through free elections."

She considered each attempt outside this framework is nothing but a form of usurping the power, which would be a shame to allow it in today's world."

Mrs. Karman stressed the importance to struggle peacefully for the desired change, explaining that resort to violence to express demands would only vitiate the justness of the cause and lead to serious consequences. 

The Nobel laureate came to the conclusion that citizenship should be the basis and that the nation of citizens but not subjects is the ultimate goal of peoples’ struggle and ultimate dreams, which should be reached whatever the price or sacrifices.