About president’s amnesty [Archives:2003/641/Letters to the Editor]

June 12 2003

Hamza Zabara
[email protected]

I do not expect Yemen Times to publish this “letter to the Editor”. Past experiences indicate that the respectful editor publishes articles sent by foreigners and seems to disregard letters sent by fellow Yemenis. After all, its his paper and he may choose to publish what he sees fit. I have extensively contributed as much material as I care to remember to the editor all of which have fallen upon deaf ears. I do not claim to be a Phd academic writer or journalist and indeed I have my flaws. However, a reply or acknowledgment as promised on your website would have been nice.
Well, coming to the main point, I have a comment about the amnesty given by HE President Ali Abdullah Saleh to those ex-members of the Socialist party who committed atrocities against tens of thousands of innocent Yemenis during the war in 1994. I lost my father as a direct result of that war as he was on duty at the Jumhoria Hospital in Sana'a when the hospital was struck by a scud missile. President Saleh has shown great compassion, dignity, forgiveness and mercy to those who in my view should stand trial for war crimes.
I would like to ask his Excellency how he thinks the families and relatives whose loved ones perished in the war of 1994 would react to this amnesty. Personally, I feel bitter and defeated. I feel that my father who paid the ultimate sacrifice and shed his blood for our great country has been completely disregarded, neglected and betrayed. And we ask in vain, why oh why is an Arab's life so cheap and expendable in the eyes of the West? You have your answer, because our entire culture is based upon a total disregard for human life and the sanctity of life. We have forgotten our martyrs who died whilst defending this nation, for fifty years, the West continues to remind itself of the sacrifices of those killed in World War 2. We on the other hand, can't even wait nine years before we completely choose to forget our martyrs and heroes and forgive our enemies. I know that my comments will once again fall upon deaf ears therefore you may rest assured that I would not be contributing any more articles to Yemen times, I would not be reading it either. Even though it was a paper which I genuinely adored and enjoyed reading. I can no longer continue to read or send comments to an editor who has expressed total disregard to his readers. To whoever reads this, wake up and open you're mind.

Dear Hamza,
Having a letter not published doesn't mean that we are disregarding it. But we are also limited in terms of space and time. We are all human. Any how, I apologize on behalf of the paper of any mishandling of any letter to the editor. But I hope having your letter published here will compensate for what happened.