Can You Feel the Change? [Archives:2000/33/Viewpoint]

August 14 2000

Recently, the number of key figures working on changing old styles of work and life have started to emerge. Some of these individuals are from the private sector, but many are from the official sector and are prominent government employees. To give you an example, I want to take SABA news agency as a case study. I have been impressed by the time Mr. Hussein Al-Awadhi dedicated to reorganize the infrastructure and functions of the news agency. I felt the desire in Mr. Hussein to raise the quality and independence of his agency. “It is a tough task, but at least there must be a start.” This statement of Al-Awadhi brought me the hope of a brighter future in the official media sector.
On another level, Mr. Ali Salah, the famous TV figure had also impressed me with his new vision through his weekly program “Face to Face.” In the latest interview YT made with him, he openly explained how he was able to barely bypass the obstacles put in front of him when launching and continuing his program. It is always a risk to move on into another level and break the old style, which our older generations were used to. He faced a lot of resistance from people within the TV channel, but he succeeded in convincing everyone that time has changed, and we need to cope with the world.
A third example would be President Saleh himself. He is a person who has felt that Yemen needs to change and cope with the world. As he has visited many countries recently, he realized that we are lagging behind. His fight against Qat, was an excellent example of his intentions for change. The number of laws issued last year and this year have clearly signaled his desire to improve the country’s standard and ranking in the world.
Change is coming, but it is coming slowly. We can see the number of Internet cafes opening almost on a monthly basis. We can see how people have started seeking ways to generate income not the routine way of working as employees, but by inventing ideas and taking advantage of the development gap. We need to look around us and see how nations are developing. We cannot stand idle with the hope that Yemen will self-develop. It is us who should develop our country, and work hard on changing the outdated mentality that still seeps in many key officials’ mind from the old generation. If we want to compete with nations in the fields of development and economy, we cannot do that until we cut off the strings that keep us from going forward. We need to get rid of all the links that connect us to the past and prevent us from progressing.
In conclusion, I do feel hopefully that we will be progress, especially that there are more and more individuals feeling the need for change. This change that would bring the country a brighter future. I have started feeling this change. Can you feel it? Walid Al-Saqqaf