RSFI believes that the protecting the family has become the last resort for protecting the Arab and Islamic identity. After carrying out many surveys and studies on the condition, needs and problems faced by the Arab family, RSFI decided to organize a conference dedicated to the discussion of issues of the Arab family and to finding the most suitable strategies that may benefit the mothers, fathers and children in resolving the problems that were found through research.
The Family Conference in Shariqah was organized under the name of The Family Conference in the Gulf Countries: Problems and Resolutions. The main goals of the conference were to spread awareness of the contemporary reality of the family and youth in the Gulf region; to direct the family towards supporting positive values among the youth; creating an opportunity for specialists and expertise in the field of family issues to provide suggestions and lay down strategies and programmes that may empower the role of the Gulf family; to envision a future role for the Gulf family to play in investing the energy of the youth in adapting to fast changes around them; and to highlight the role of education and knowledge in supporting the development of the family and in helping it resolve the problems it faces.
Among the main headlines discussed during the conference were the following: Issues of Marriage and Divorces, Behavioral Divergences in the Family, Fathers and Mothers and Problems Faced in Dealing with Children and The Influence of Contemporary Media on the Family and Youth.
When and Where?
The Conference took place in Al-Shariqah University in Shariqah during January 2008.
RSFI took the initiative to organize three conferences dedicated to the Arab family; the first in the Gulf region, the second in the Levant and the third in North Africa. This division was planned to provide for the unique context of each of these regions so that the conference may address the needs and problems of the family more closely.
The main sponsor for the conference was Shaykh Sultan ibn Muhammad al-Qasimi, Member of the Higher Council, President of the University of Shariqah and ruler of the Shariqah. The conference was organized in partnership with the Higher Council for Family Issues in Shariqah and the University of Shariqah.
The organizers published a book including all the research papers presented at the conference. The book includes several recommendations produced at the conference as follows:
1. Founding centres for the direction and guidance of the family.
2. Organizing programmes and forums to prepare people for marriage.
3. Founding centres that may help resolve problems for those in the process of getting married.
4. Highlighting national identity and culture as means to fight globalization.
5. Focusing on the role of the Arabic language in protecting the Arab and Islamic identity, culture and character.
6. Creating strategies to prevent crime and negative behavior.
7. Establishing and spreading awareness about reducing consumption.
8. Establishing Islamic values and morals through social means such as the family, school and media.
9. Focusing on the role of youth institutions as they play a role in nurturing future leaders.
10. Spreading awareness about the importance of technical and handwork education and training.
11. Establishing the value of volunteerism and charity work among youth.
12. Providing specialists involved in the establishment of social/economic strategies with a database on the conditions of the Gulf family and youth.
13. Carrying out studies across the Gulf region to reflect the circumstances of the family and youth.
14. Developing services to provide for special needs persons.
15. Directing specialist institutions to follow up on issues of drug abuse and addiction in the Gulf region.