Being positive [Archives:2007/1085/Viewpoint]

September 13 2007

Dominating news in Yemeni press draw a very gloomy picture of Yemen. There are endless demonstrations for various reasons, there are conflicts and troubled areas, there are political ploys and selfish games tc.

The state of unrest worries me, and worries any person who cares about Yemen or has an interest in the welfare of the country. How can the situation be mitigated without much loss, is the question. And a very difficult one especially that trouble is on several frontiers.

The gloomy picture painted by media and politicians as well as everyday experiences give us the feeling that Yemen is on the verge of collapse. Natural resources are being exhausted, and people's tolerance to hunger and deteriorating living conditions is wearing thin. This causes unrest, and the opposition takes real good advantage of the situation in order to create change.

However, all of this is only one side of the story. Recently I have met with extraordinary people working in the government who are trying hard t make things better. I am definitely not talking about politicians, I am talking about professional specialists working in different sectors who are usually not in the lime light and whose efforts most of the time goes unnoticed.

If Yemen is on the verge of collapse, then why are those people doing what they are doing to ensure a better future for the generations to come. For example, why would the traffic authority coupled with the technical department of the municipality work around the clock to materialize a 20 years long plan that would change the features of Sana'a drastically? Why would the director of the rural water projects improvise a scheme to modernize the working process, and ensure people's applications are smoothly executed? Why would ministry of water and environment expand the only water treatment plant in Sana'a in order to minimize the water waste in the capital city?

You will soon read about all these projects and efforts in a constructive way during the coming weeks. Yet the point is: let's not indulge too much in blaming the government as a whole for everything that is not working. Let's not blame the municipality for the unclean roads while we encourage our children to throw rubbish in the streets. And let's not complain about power cuts when we don't take time to turn the lights off when we leave the room.

Unfortunately Yemeni culture is a very dependant one which lacks initiatives and does not encourage self-motivation. We need to see what's wrong, find out what we as a community and as individuals can do to make it better. and while doing this, let's not forget to praise the efforts of those who are trying to make a difference.