ARAB NEWS Published: Aug 16, 2011 00:28 Updated: Aug 16, 2011 00:28 RIYADH: The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) said that its ambitious overseas expansion program had got stuck due to financial constraints. “The World Assembly of Muslim Youth has failed to open offices in more than 10 countries that had invited the aid organization to serve the needy people in those countries,” said Saleh S. Al-Wohaibi, WAMY’s secretary-general. Al-Wohaibi called on the Gulf countries to “donate more” to Islamic aid organizations such as WAMY. He pointed out that “the Saudi government contributes only one percent of WAMY’s operating expenses.” The WAMY chief said the charity had failed to fund its flagship welfare programs in different countries, especially in the aftermath of the economic recession and the resulting cuts in donors’ support. This left WAMY under heavy financial pressure, he added. The WAMY chief was speaking on the occasion of WAMY’s ninth annual dialogue and iftar party in Riyadh. Japanese Ambassador Shigeru Endo and Argentine Ambassador Jaime Sergio Cerda were the keynote speakers. Ibrahim Al-Ghofaili, a local businessman, addressed the audience on behalf of the businessmen. The WAMY dialogue was attended by about 600 guests this year, including 21 ambassadors and 73 other foreign diplomats besides 170 businessmen, donors and social workers. Asked about the plan to expand WAMY’s operations, Al-Wohaibi said the charity had decided to go slow on overseas expansion plans. He said WAMY currently had 36 offices in Saudi Arabia and about 40 chapters abroad. This Islamic organization, he said, had been solely dependent on donations given by individuals and philanthropic bodies of the Kingdom. WAMY has emerged as a major social and educational aid agency with 39,000 orphans under its sponsorship program across the world. About 2,800 scholarships have been granted to poor students in several countries so far. This is in addition to the relief efforts carried out by WAMY in the Kingdom and abroad. Al-Wohaibi singled out the example of its relief operation in the Horn of Africa. “The response of the international community to the drought in that region is far from satisfactory at the moment,” he said.
An earlier post reported on the participation of WAMY in a planned meeting of Muslim NGO’s to discuss the hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa.
Muslim Brothers were instrumental in the founding of WAMY and the organization continues to enjoy close relations with the global Muslim Brotherhood. U.S. government agencies and officials have argued that WAMY has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India. Numerous previous posts have discussed WAMY’s activities throughout the world. Previous posts have discussed the organizations apparent recent financial difficulties.