‘Preventive steps protect kids from cyber hazards’ – ‘Dialogue, monitoring yields results’

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KUWAIT CITY, March 25: (KUNA): The application of social preventive approaches is essential and instrumental in protecting children from hazards of online exposure to extremist and violent contents, a US executive official affirmed Friday.

Opening dialogue between parents and their children about various social issues and monitoring children’s online use and access to social media networks and websites are two of the most effective ways to protect children’s safety, security, and lives, Zainab Al-Suwaij, Executive Director of the American Islamic Congress (AIC), told KUNA.

Al-Suwaij made her remarks on the sidelines of her participation in Kuwait’s first regional conference on protecting children against cyber hazards, stressing the importance of finding an open communication platform between parents, children, and governments to help eliminating radical and extremist situations in their societies. Raising public awareness at home is not enough; it should also be conducted in schools, colleges, universities, media, and social media, she said, adding that the internet world is wide and difficult to control.

Meanwhile, Al-Suwaij valued Kuwait’s role and efforts in holding the conference and highlighting an important i n t e r n a t i o n a l issue, indicating that the event has broken the fear barrier regarding its subject when a number of participating children c o u r a g e o u s l y shared their personal experience with online extremism and violence.

In another development, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO) on Friday called for launching a plan to protect Arab urban and architectural heritage. The plan is to include a database on historic buildings and sites, especially in conflict-ridden areas, said ALECSO Director General Dr Abdullah Muhareb, of Kuwait. His remarks were read on his behalf by ALECSO director of culture Hayat Qatat during the international forum on the observatory of Arab urban and architectural heritage.

The forum’s theme proclaims the observatory as a “tool” to monitor destruction suffered by Arab cities during war and armed conflicts. ALECSO, according to Muhareb, is urged to revitalize the role of the observatory, which was launched in October last year. Upon the launch, the observatory was set to establish the database that will help the Tunis-based organisation extend technical assistance to Arab countries in the areas of documentation, media and control, as well as assessment of reconstruction in conflict- plagued Arab cities to save archaeological sites. One of the most important cities that needed observation is Jerusalem, which has been, and still is going under continuous attacks by Israel, Muhareb noted.

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