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Speech by Tawakkol Karman at International Festival of Culture and Leadership in Mexico

Ladies and gentlemen, Let me begin by expressing my happiness to be with you here in Mexico, a country that has a great history and shows great determination to move towards the future with confidence. 


Dear friends,
A long time ago, only few people realized their importance. When contemplating the story of civilization, one certainly realizes how big positive impact some scientists, philosophers, politicians and warriors have made on the major transformations the humanity has undergone, although most people have not realized importance, power or influence of these changes.

With the passage of time and due to the emergence of nation state, human rights and democracy, and finally the spread of the idea of voluntary work and social media, many people have become aware of their importance and of ability to influence. Every day, we see people undertaking social, political, cultural and economic initiatives that enable them to achieve themselves and goals, and improve their positions. It is true that doing that is not easy, but we see it at every moment.


Dear friends,
To change the world we, as active individuals with the will and determination, have first to change ourselves from within. This is a natural law, which is proven by repetitive lessons and events of history.

The will of people along with their desire and ability to change creates a better world, as tomorrow’s world and life depends on today’s motivations. In order for us to achieve the desired change, it is important to recognize and reinforce this fact. 

Systems, institutions, states and influential political and social elites, along with interests that govern our countries and societies, have always been based on the culture of crushing the individual, or on inventing new means and methods to control thinking in an attempt to control the course of history. 

Every effort to liberate and change our reality and our world for the better, meet the aspirations of societies, realize their interests and unleash their potential will not succeed unless we begin to free the will of individuals from the oppression and distortions and restore the lost self. We have to regain our will that makes miracles and makes the impossible possible. 

The whole universe is inside us. Every great value exists in ourselves. All that constrains us and deprives us of realizing the secret of our greatness and strength is considered as a dark prison and has nothing to do with us

"Leave, you are killer," a Yemeni mother whose son was killed by Saleh’s regime wrote while a world-sized hope was shining from her eyes as if the regime had not deprived her of part of her soul.

Such case and many other victims whose relatives and loved ones were killed by tyrants in Yemen and in the great peaceful popular uprisings experienced by Arab Spring countries seven years ago, indicate that a better future will be built in these countries, no matter how sad and painful the reality is now there.

I remembered this incident, which is part of our living experience, in order to show you the willpower people show when it come to the future. Pain and sadness are a page in which the free will manifests itself to the fullest for change, in different incidents that take place in our life, beginning with the details of our daily lives and going beyond our social and public relations, and our attitudes towards everything that is going on around us in this world.

A will imbued with faith, freedom, justice and human dignity is indeed worthy of victory, survival and permanence.

When the evils have willpower, they destroy everything and cause death, ruins and destruction as widely as possible. Unquestionably, we still remember what Adolf Hitler did. More than an example these days is looming on the horizon, reminding us of Hitler. 

Powers employed to dominate and suppress the other could also be used for a better world. These powers exist inside each of us.  I still believe that working for peace, security and dignity for every human being requires much greater will and power than that used for the war, violence, ruin, domination and blind interests that this world, our societies and our nations are engulfed.

Dear friends,
The core purposes of religions, philosophies, human knowledge and thought produced by human over history are all aimed at a better world by making human beings free, active and being able to choose and distinguish between bad and good, making their life safe, stable, creative and rich in opportunities for self-realization and unleashing creative energies. 

The poor reality, wars, disrespect for people and their freedom and dignity, and oppressive regimes did not emerge overnight by using chains, detentions, prisons and weapons. All this has taken place through a long process of instilling negative perceptions and distorted education into people and misuse functions of religions and intellectual theories in favour of despots, elites, interest groups who see deal with their societies as slaves. 

The liberation of humans begins from liberating themselves and unleashing their inner energies. Changing the world begins from being aware of our life and reality, and of what we deserve as human beings, from awakening our sleeping will and guiding our driving force to change our lives and the world for the better.

Being aware of the magnitude of inner energy protect people from being victimized even if they were sometimes defeated. Clinging to life and insisting on changing it as desired is something we see every day in eyes shining with hope and power everywhere.  

Amid the wars and ruins, there are always powerful people who may suffer, die and be injured, but many of them keep believing in themselves. A day will come when energies flashing from the eyes and burning in the hearts turn into forces that make life better and free of murderers and criminals.

In our societies, in the midst of the cities crowded with conflicts, fights and impoverishment, there are people who have the strong will to fight for a decent life and to strengthen, and their will grows more and more whenever they see powers of oppression  and vested interests standing in front of them. This awareness and valor will finally turn into just laws that encircle injustice, brutality and oppression.

Dear friends and all attendees,
Our world today goes through unprecedented transformations, and all these imbalances, wars, and disorders are an evidence that the existing world is coming to an end while the new one is still absent. However, the new world will emerge thanks to our strong will and determination, and to our faith in the life we deserve. The new world will only be what we believe in. The stronger we believe in our rights, humanity, dignity and freedom, the closer we are to the life we want and the world we look forward to and hope for.

The murderers, the oppressors, the tyrants and the blind influential elites have exhausted this world. The injustice, death and wars have become everywhere. Thus, it is time for a great revolution to erupt, starting from self-liberation and unshakable faith in freedom, dignity and ability to act and change despite all the obstacles and difficulties.

The history of humankind is made of the history of individual’s free will. This great power, the will, has created history, philosophy, knowledge, science, civilization, cities, evolution and major leaps in the history of humankind. The individuals, thanks to their free will, consciousness and energy,  are the ones who changed the course of history, made major transformations, developed theories and paved the way to scientific developments, reach the moon and fly into space. Everything on the earth, positive or negative, started to exist as a simple ideas flashing through someone’s mind. 

Every word we say and every effort we make contribute to building the will to change towards a better world. Let us meet and put our hands together as brothers in humanity, coming from all countries, religions and nations, to proclaim with one voice our belief in a better world of peace, love, brotherhood, solidarity, justice and safety.

These values build societies where people share a common life with each other, while injustice, murder, annihilation, subjugation and hatred lead only to a dead end. 

Glory to the free people who get never defeated by adversity and suffering, nor broken by hunger, injustice, death and tyranny!