Baradouni: The Man We Gave no Due Right [Archives:1999/37/Law & Diplomacy]

September 13 1999

By: Mohammed Hatem Al-Qadhi, 
Managing Editor, Yemen Times 
It is not only our plight in Yemen. Rather, it is the problem of the whole Arab world. In other words, we, Arabs, do not pay much attention to our great illuminated and creative figures in the community. As a matter of fact, most of the time Arab intellectuals and luminaries are at odds with the political regimes. This is because most of our Arab political regimes are regressive in their outlook and do not have a spirit that could accept and tolerate criticism even if it is constructive and a well-wisher of introducing reform to the corrupt structure of the society. This is why we find our political regimes play cat and mouse with their people, particularly pioneers. 
These regimes try to keep only hypocrites who know well the know-how of kissing-up close to them. It is these crooked people and predators who are close to the decision-making cores. Accordingly, these hypocrites work very hard against the leading pioneers of knowledge and bold defenders of human decency and integrity. In spite of all their good work and contribution to their people, they are always left behind. Their achievement is not at any rate appreciated by the big guys as long as they do not exercise the kissing-up to the rulers. Even if they are sometimes braised and lauded in ceremonies, we find them always bogged down in an endless struggle for sustenance. Some of them even sometimes fall victims to all sorts of diseases mainly heart attacks out of despair in a society that is too hard to them and their accomplishments. 
Let us take for instance Abdullah Al-Baradouni, who recently passed away. Abdullah Al-Baradouni was a leading literary pioneer in Yemen as well as the Arab world. He had an overall master over writing poetry and narrative. He was also an omnipotent thinker and scholar in the Islamic religion. He, though crippled with blindness since his early age, could have been able to grasp a distinguished and matchless caliber that brought about his recognition, regionally and internationally. He was such a prolific poet and writer whose most of his works were translated into different languages. During his life, he was very critical to the political regime either before or after the 26th September revolution in 1962. He ruthlessly criticized the Imam to the extent that he was about to be sentenced to death. 
A great Arab literary edifice, Baradouni could impress all people with his thought and unspeakable creation. He could hit the first places and obtain recognizable prizes and awards from several Arab scientific and literary institutions. He was famous as a revolutionary poet who fought bravely against all kinds of social diseases and corruption. He also gave a loud call to reforming the political, social and economic fabrics of the society. Moreover, he was well known with his vivid criticism that made him present everywhere in the life of his people. Of course, this did not please the governments which all marginalized, neglected and above all did not honor him. 
It is actually regretful that our pioneers are honored only by private scientific and arts establishments either Arab or international while our wealth is spent on crooked and corrupt hypocrites. I believe this plight of keeping our great people away from the helm of the centers of power is one of the main reasons behind our backwardness. In other words, a country which dose not give its luminaries their due right and attention will never see the light of prosperity and welfare. What is funny about us in Yemen in particular is that we remember our luminaries and glorify them only posthumously. 
Therefore, shall we do it once again with Al-Baradouni? 
Why not?