During the conference
By Kaushalendra Singh -
SALALAH — The third edition of the Arab Family Coherence Conference began yesterday at Crowne Plaza Resort Salalah amid participation from a large number representatives from the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) countries. The three-day conference began under the auspices of Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamoud al Busaidy, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar.
Present on the occasion were Shaikh Mohammed bin Said al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development; Shaikh Saad bin Mohammed al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs, Dr Rasheed bin Al Safi al Huraibi, Chairman of the Tender Board; foreign delegates, representatives from government and non-government representatives, women associations and social activists.
The conference deliberated upon various issues which are affecting family coherence in the entire Arab World. The discussion ranged from the issues of divorce among families, neglected children, impact of televisions and Internet on the social fabric and the role religion can play in keeping family system intact.
Dr Yahya Bader al Maawali, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development, hailed the efforts of the Arab Family Organisation as a right move at a right time saying: “Family coherence has emerged as an issue in the entire world. There are so many factors which are affecting the age old family system and causing imbalance in our society.”
He cited the examples of consumerism, impact of television and Internet and many other exposures which are posing new challenges in front of policy making bodies and forcing them to redraw a demand and situation base social security system.
Commenting on Oman’s preparedness to meet such challenges, Dr Yahya said: “The problem is well conceived by us. Our ministry is in touch with families, social workers and women organisations. We organise regular lectures and counselling programmes for all age groups and try to convince parents to take maximum care of their children so that they are safe and shielded from negative influences of modern developments.”
Amal al Doseri, a UN Representative of Child Care and Women Activities, Bahrain stressed on the issue of single parent, particularly women and called for concerted efforts to check the cases of divorce “because it has adverse impact on woman, child, family and society as a whole.”
She said a happy family has direct contribution in the making of a peaceful and cohesive society that ultimately helps in building a strong country and the world becomes a nice place to live.
Mohd Al Ghayeb, a social researcher at the Council of Ministers of Social Affairs in GCC states Executive Bureau, said such interactions were important to strengthen the family system. He sought to address issues like prevalence of drugs, divorce and promotion of education. He also called for well-drafted statistics to understand the gravity of the situation and address them in a planned manner.
Other speakers laid stress on the value of religion. They exhorted the people to follow religion and be pious in their approach. The purpose of the conference, according to them, is to create awareness for self-care from childhood to adulthood and old age. “The idea is to make people better human beings, better parents and far better citizens of their country,” they said.