An Appeal to All Responsible and Patriotic Yemenis: Save Our Youth Before It Is Too Late [Archives:1999/11/Culture]

March 15 1999

With all due respect, I would like to thank you for your interest and appreciation of the many obstacles and problems that face the youth; that obviously represented in your issue No.2 of 11/1/99. Though you shouldn’t be thanked because it is your duty and it is the duty of all honorable Yemenis who are concerned with the interests of Yemen by thinking about what is happening in children’s circumstances, showing up the violations of the laws, exploring the social imperfections and looking for solutions.
There is no doubt that youth are the backbone of any nation; they are the country’s ammunition and horsepower in the face of future and they are the main pillar for the growing process of any country in reaching for prosperity. That is only if they find real care, support and orientation; especially the well educated and qualified youth.
In other words, the government must take care of their youth, develop their capabilities, and adopt their energies and potential in order to promote improvement. That is as a matter of course, nobody denies that and nobody can ignore the youth.
But it is a pity that what we are seeing in our home is that our bureaucracy do deny and ignore youth’s capabilities and energies, instead of developing and adopting our capabilities and exploiting our energies and potential. We find them simply and absurdly judging by stopping employment and gaining of wealth from our energies and potential. At the same time, what is absurd and laughable is that our government sends young people to study in various overseas countries and spend so many millions of dollars upon them to make them qualified, and in the end they threw them out onto the street jobless, with useless qualifications and even without any benefit from the huge amount of money that was spent upon them. If they do use them, they usually misuse their qualifications and waste them power of their youth, as in the case of the Geologists and oil graduates. Consequently, the whole thing leads to frustration and inhibiting the youth’s enthusiasm and killing their ambitions and capabilities.
The excuse is that there is a deficit in the budget and there is economic stagnancy. Well, if that is so, can we ignore the youth and take them away? Is this the only right decision which would save the budget and refresh the stagnant economy? How marvelous, losing the youth’s power and kill their aspirations is the only right decision to solve all our problems, that is ridiculous.
Supposing that may help, then we have to search for substitutions for those idle poor youth who turned a hand to studding, took pains to be qualified and enthusiastically graduated hoping to serve their home. Have our governors discussed or even thought about what to do with the youth who have been educated in this system? Certainly not, that is clearly showed in their daily practices and their failure to solve our economic problems and create alternatives.
That is to say, as long as our regime can not recruit the youth and employ their potential, so they have to sustain the private sectors and support tourism and protect, enhance and encourage foreign support, protect, enhance and encourage foreign and local investment to participate in and invest their money in Yemen, definitely that would create lots of job opportunities for youth and somehow would help in solving the problem. In the meantime, it goes without saying that investments and tourism require security, protection and application of the law, that is only logical. Unfortunately the current insecurity is certainly caused by the weakness and failure of our regime and because of corrupt and useless bureaucracy. Who would come to see or invest anything in Yemen under these circumstances? The state of our country is a very disappointing and depressing thing.
I’m trying to say that the ambivalent and unclear policy of our government together with the unaware, careless, and corrupt government are decidedly responsible for our civilization’s insecurity and the ruining of the country economically. The economic stagnancy and lack of government effort is causing our youth to become hopeless and aimless, without purpose. Even the well educated and qualified students are becoming hopeless, and others stop studying, because they see that it brings them nothing.
So, the problem is how can we rework the regime and convince our governors of the importance of youth? How can we assert our rights and call their attention to our qualifications and capabilities in the course of constructing a bright future and making a more prosperous Yemen? That is the problem, to make people aware of the usefulness of youth in Yemen’s future.
And when we succeed in doing that, I mean reworking our regime, reforming the authorities within the administrative hierarchy and renewing the governor’s conscience, i.e. making them really careful, loving and innocent in their work for Yemen. If we could do this, we wouldn’t find any young people committing suicide or aimlessly prowling streets as a result of frustration and despair of finding a job opportunity, and we would find them very hard working, persuasive in studying and very optimistic about the future.
This is my opinion and thanks again for your help.
Ali Abdullah Seenah,
Geologist – Geophysicist,
Ain shams Uni-graduate
Unemployed at this time.