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NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE ARRIVES IN INDIA TO SEEK LESSONS ON DEMOCRACY

2012-04-02, Mon, 02 Apr 2012 ANI

NATURAL WITH ENGLISH SPEECH

DURATION: 3:17

SOURCE: ANI

TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS: NO ACCESS BBC

Nobel peace laureate arrives in India to seek lessons on democracy.

Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakul Karman, a key figure in the revolt that brought down President Ali Abdullah Saleh says that she hopes to learn the intricacies of democracy from her visit to India.

SHOWS:

NEW DELHI, INDIA (APRIL 02, 2012) (ANI-NO ACCESS BBC)

1. NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, TAWAKUL KARMAN SITTING AND INTERACTING WITH A MEDIAPERSON BEFORE AN INTERVIEW

2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, TAWAKUL KARMAN, SAYING: "I am here to learn a lot from the democracy in India. It is the largest democracy in the world and also to learn about its experience on its logo that they really implement, which is 'unity in diversity'. We need the same logo in our countries and all around the world."

3. KARMAN'S HANDS

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, TAWAKUL KARMAN, SAYING: "I am so keen to know a lot about the federalism here in India, its very important system that we need in our countries, especially in Yemen because we are building the foundations of a new Yemen and most of the people in Yemen are taking about federalism as a solution and as a logo for the new Yemen."

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, TAWAKUL KARMAN, SAYING: "I think the role of Al Jazeera, Al Arabia and many of the Arab channels, who decided to help the revolutions; it gave the youth and women more power to gather all the people around them. Social media, Twitter, Facebook, all of them helped the youth and women, especially in countries where they couldn't gather, like what happened in Tunisia before the revolution, they couldn't meet each other, even if they are three or five people. But through Facebook, through Twitter they could announce for their meetings, sittings or demonstrations as well in Egypt, in Syria, in Libya."

6. KARMAN'S HANDS

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, TAWAKUL KARMAN, SAYING: "Women gained the most important thing that she struggled for, which is the trust from the community. The Arab communities and particularly in Yemen, people now they trust on women, they trust on her ability and they are looking for women who can lead the country forward. They can't imagine that they can lead their country without women."

8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE, TAWAKUL KARMAN, SAYING:

Q: Do you think that Islam and democracy can go together?

"Yes, ofcourse. Islam can go together with democracy and not just Islam, all the religion can. All the religion respect democracy and respect human rights, so there is no divide between religion and democracy. When you talk about there is something against democracy, you have to talk about people. You will find people from right or from left, who are against democracy. So please, don't talk about religion."

9. KARMAN SITTING FOR AN INTERVIEW

STORY: Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakul Karman, a key figure in the revolt that brought down President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that she hoped to learn the intricacies of democracy from her visit to India on Monday (April 02).

Karman, 33, an Islamist journalist and rights campaigner, dubbed the "Mother of the Revolution", was an influential figure in the early days of the Yemen's uprising against Saleh last year, and was briefly imprisoned for her involvement in the protests.

Speaking in an exclusive interview in New Delhi, Karman said that she was proud to learn the basics of democracy from the country, which gave the world Mahatma Gandhi.

Honoured to visit the largest democracy in the world, Karman also planned to visit Mahatma Gandhi's memorial at Rajghat.

"I am here to learn a lot from the democracy in India. It is the largest democracy in the world and also to learn about its experience on its logo that they really implement, which is 'unity in diversity'. We need the same logo in our countries and all around the world," said Karman.

The political activist added that her main focus was to learn about the federal structure followed in India.

Karman said that after the revolution, citizens in her country were high-spirited about implementing federalism in Yemen.

"I am so keen to know a lot about the federalism here in India, its very important system that we need in our countries, especially in Yemen because we are building the foundations of a new Yemen and most of the people in Yemen are taking about federalism as a solution and as a logo for the new Yemen," Karman added.

Commenting on the role played by both the conventional and social media in Yemen revolution, Karman said that the Arab media outlets and social networking sites help to empower citizens to demonstrate and protests.

"I think the role of Al Jazeera, Al Arabia and many of the Arab channels, who decided to help the revolutions; it gave the youth and women more power to gather all the people around them. Social media, Twitter, Facebook, all of them helped the youth and women, especially in countries where they couldn't gather, like what happened in Tunisia before the revolution, they couldn't meet each other, even if they are three or five people. But through Facebook, through Twitter they could announce for their meetings, sittings or demonstrations as well in Egypt, in Syria, in Libya," Karman said.

An avid human rights activist, Karman boasted that after the revolution, the status of women in Yemen had propelled to 'decision makers' from once 'house makers'.

Karman said that people in Yemen trust women to lead the country after leading a successful revolution.

"Women gained the most important thing that she struggled for, which is the trust from the community. The Arab communities and particularly in Yemen, people now they trust on women, they trust on her ability and they are looking for women who can lead the country forward. They can't imagine that they can lead their country without women," stated Karman.

An Islamist herself, Karman defended the prospect of an Islamic democracy. She said that every religion supports welfare of people. For the functioning of a smooth democracy the interests of its citizens should be given the first priority, despite their religion.

Q: Do you think that Islam and democracy can go together?

"Yes, ofcourse. Islam can go together with democracy and not just Islam, all the religion can. All the religion respect democracy and respect human rights, so there is no divide between religion and democracy. When you talk about there is something against democracy, you have to talk about people. You will find people from right or from left, who are against democracy. So please, don't talk about religion," Karman added.

Along with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Liberian peace campaigner Leymah Gbowee, Karman was a co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for "non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights".

She was the first Arab woman to receive the prize and also became the youngest Nobel Peace Laureate. Karman is a prominent member of the Yemeni Islamist opposition party, Islah.


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