Children’s Culture Lost! [Archives:2000/11/Culture]

March 13 2000

Saleh Abdul Baqi
Yemen Times
Children are the most precious gift by God. We feel happy for their happiness and heavy-hearted for their sadness. They are the promising blooms and future builders. They must be grown up in an atmosphere of love and understanding. What is seen nowadays is they suffer from the absence of many entertainment and cultural activities that help mold their characters and personalities. Such activities have become no more than sweet memories to children who in comparison with children in other countries seem to lack the basic needs of life. Many countries pay more attention to children and their culture. Yemen used to be one of those countries, but it seems to have retired from taking care of its children.
Children cultural activities flourished in the 70s until the middle of the 80s. Aden used to be the cultural center for children. They found a chance to produce at the time. All the cultural and art activities provided for children yielded fruits eventually, especially, in the field of drama, short story, music, story, etc. and all that helped rooting the national identity within themselves. Those cultural and art products of children and teenagers reflect how such activities are helpful in children maturation. All these encouraged people specialized in juvenile’s literature to publish many children’s books, stories, etc. Ministries of Culture and Education did their best to support children’s activities and to spread children’s cultural centers in Aden and other southern governorates and provided them with children’s books. They also encouraged the school theater. Children participated in many carnivals, festivals and shows, especially on the Child International Day that became an annual celebration on which many activities and competitions were organized for children. Those activities formed a cultural as well as civilized phenomenon in the country.
After unification, we thought that support would be even more. To our astonishment, such activities were neither supported nor preserved. Authors of juvenile’s literature complain that the authorities concerned have not kept its word in publishing their work. It is very painful to see children of many countries have access to the interment, while children in Yemen are neglected and ignored. Children have their own share in all cultural programs of the Arab countries. They also have their own sides in book exhibitions. It is natural to find thousands of children’s books in book exhibition due to the importance of children’s culture.
Still have we hope that this kind of literature will find its due attention from the authorities concerned.