Cablegate: Sanaa American Corner Project Proposal

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Post requests funding to establish American Corner
partnerships with six public institutions in Yemen.
Institutions include Dhamar University, Hodeidah University,
Sana'a University, Aden University, Taiz University and the
Sana'a Public Library. John Balian, PAO, is the designated
point of contact for the program and will provide oversight in
developing the partnership in conjunction with the APAO.

2. Post is targeting these six institutions as a means of
promoting MPP goals by increasing knowledge of the English
language, American society, culture, politics and economics
and by expanding the reach of Embassy programs into rural
Yemen. The overwhelming majority of Yemenis have little or no
knowledge of American culture, history, politics, etc.
although Yemenis that we meet as we travel around Yemen
express a genuine interest in opportunities to learn more
about the United States. Yemenis are hungry for knowledge and
post is targeting areas in Yemen that do not normally receive
development or educational aid. Institutions are listed in
order of preference.

3. Dhamar University is located approximately two hours by
car from the capital Sana'a and serves as the primary
educational facility for about two dozen tribal areas. The
University's president, who is a US alumnus, has been working
to expand the size and outreach of the university so that it
can affect the lives of youths living in this largely
agricultural area. A new library/computer center has been
built and is waiting to be fitted with computer equipment,
furnishings and books. The President of the University is
enthusiastic about using the currently empty space for an
American Corner.

4. Dhamar University Budget:

25 Computer stations $50,000
Electronic Resources 10,000
Books 40,000

Total $100,000

5. Sana'a Public Library is the only national public library
in Yemen and it has been inadequately funded for many years.
The library previously had one computer dating from around
1985 and Post recently donated five computers to help the
library transfer its card catalogue to the computer. The
library director will open up space in the library's main
building for the American Corner collection so that it may
serve as a useful reference for researchers and the general
Yemeni population. Many researchers, students and members of
the general public use the public library as a reference
source as the university libraries, even in the capital city,
are inadequate.

6. Sana'a Public Library Budget:

25 Computer stations $50,000
Electronic Resources 10,000
Books 40,000

Total $100,000

7. Even though Hodeidah University is a relatively new
institution, it has succeeded in serving the entire western
region of Yemen and the American Corner project will provide a
unique opportunity for their students, staff and faculty
members. Previously, Post had not had a great deal of direct
contact with the university due to its location far from the
capital. However, since initial contact, post has been
developing new ways to work in conjunction with this
university. Post believes that this university will continue
to provide an ideal outlet for reaching young people in this
Red Sea region of Yemen. The staff at the university will
work closely with post to coordinate and run the American
Corner smoothly and successfully.

8. Hodeidah University Budget:

25 Computer stations $50,000
Electronic Resources 10,000
Books 40,000

Total $100,000

9. Taiz University is located approximately four hours by car
from the capital Sana'a and has a student body of around
35,000. The American Corner project at Taiz University will
not only be made available to the university's large student
body but also to various institutions working in Taiz
conducting research and development work. This is the largest
university in central Yemen.

10. Taiz University Budget

15 Computer stations $30,000
Electronic Resources 10,000
Books 35,000

Total $75,000

11. Aden University reaches students in the south of Yemen
and continues to rely largely on staff trained in the former
Soviet Union. Western influence into the teaching staff,
materials and curriculum of Aden University is relatively new.
The university is anxious to provide additional information
regarding American and the West to its staff and students.

12. Aden University Budget:

15 Computer stations $30,000
Electronic Resources 10,000
Books 35,000

Total $75,000

13. Although Sana'a University is located in the capital of
Sana'a it, like all Yemeni universities, has been inadequately
funded and has not been able to keep up with modern technology
and resources. Many individuals who graduate from the
university with a major in English lack the language ability
to communicate effectively and know little to nothing of
American culture, history, politics, etc. as most universities
teach British English literature and use resources previously
donated by the British. There is little to no American
influence. The university administration is enthusiastic
about introducing American materials into university studies
and making such information available to university students.

14. Sana'a University Budget:

15 Computer stations $30,000
Electronic Resources 10,000
Books 35,000

Total $75,000

15. Easch of the institutions Post has selected as a partner
in an American Corner project affords the means for Post to
reach out to a younger audience, to provide knowledge and
information to the remote rural areas of Yemen and to engage
the widest audience possible. Computers and electronic
resources comprise a large portion of each request. Post's
MPP has focused on providing internet and computer resources
to the rural areas of Yemen. This component of the American
Corner project would complement a current post project of
providing internet classrooms to secondary schools throughout


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