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CDA Cathy Westley Inaugurates MAP Point at Taiz University
September 1, 2021

Women working with keyboards

Chargé d’Affaires Cathy Westley inaugurated today the MAP Point at the Central Library in Taiz University. The MAP Point grew out of a public diplomacy initiative aimed at providing capacity building to 20 youth from across Yemen.  Participants received training in English language, proposal writing, and project management. At the conclusion of the training program, participants were invited to submit proposals for funding. The MAP Point proposal was selected for funding. The funding provided the MAP Point with PCs, a laptop, a DVD player, a Smart TV, and high-speed internet, as well as scientific and academic books requested by the university. The MAP Point will provide desperately needed infrastructure and resources to the 30,000 students at Ta’iz University. It will also provide a platform for the U.S. embassy to host virtual events open to youth throughout Yemen and abroad.

CDA Westley’s Remarks

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Acting Rector Riyadh Al-Oqab, distinguished guests, students.  Good morning.

Thank you, Dr. Al-Oqab, for your kind introduction and for inviting me to take part in today’s special event.

I would like to begin my remarks by sending a message to the young people of Yemen, wherever they may be, whether at the Central Library at Ta’iz University, elsewhere in Yemen, or outside of the country:  The United States is committed to you and to facilitating the creation of safe spaces such as this MAP Point – spaces where you can develop your skills and flourish to help you become productive citizens.  You are the future of Yemen.

This MP Point will enable the establishment of a physical U.S. presence here in Yemen in a way that has not been possible since the closure of our embassy in 2015.  We hope this MAP Point can be a platform to strengthen and expand our engagement with you, the students of Ta’iz University, and to explore possibilities for engaging virtually with Yemeni youth beyond Ta’iz until we are able to meet again in person.

The United States is very pleased to be able to support this initiative through the donation of the equipment and the books you see around you today.  The MAP Point began as an idea, and it is thanks to the MAP youth initiative and their resourcefulness that we are celebrating this inaugural event today.  The determination of the MAP youth and Ta’iz University students to pursue knowledge and educational opportunities even in the face of great hardship is an inspiration to us all.

In closing I would like to thank the officials of Ta’iz University for giving the MAP Point a home and for their encouragement and support of this initiative.  I would also like to thank the MAP youth and our implementing partners at Wethaq.  If this MAP Point is an indication of the potential of the youth of Yemen, then the future of Yemen is very bright indeed.

Thanks again for inviting me to join you today.  I wish you every success and look forward to continuing our fruitful collaboration.