Do we have a future? [Archives:2004/703/Letters to the Editor]

January 15 2004

Abdulrahman Al-Huthaify
[email protected]

As a Yemeni student studying in India, I lately attended the Indian science conference held by Punjab University and was impressed by the importance this country is giving to science as the key to a more secure and prosperous future. I asked myself as a Yemeni, what is the position of our own country in the world today and tomorrow? Do we show similar interest in science and technology? The answer is a big NO. We are a nation living without proper planning both at the individual and official levels. Take for example the system of scholarships. India gives Yemen tens of scholarships every year but instead of sending people to study science and technology, most of the Yemenis that study in India only study in fields like linguistics, literature, business, and other human sciences which can be studied at Sana'a or Aden Universities. Some Yemenis even preferred to study Arabic and Islamic studies here. Most of the scholars from other countries who come in the same cultural exchange scheme are studying science and technology. So why we are we behind?
It is lack of planning that can be blamed? Science departments in our universities use Arabic as medium, making it difficult for the graduates to pursue their high studies in English. Furthermore, favoritism and corruption in distributing scholarships does more damage. I hope that we will review our attitude and policies. Our officials must know that by putting their interests before public interests they are gaining on the personal level but they are destroying the future of their children and grandchildren. The best way to secure the future of their children is by building a country that will be able to provide security, prosperity and decent life to its citizens. Let us pray that they will recognize this fact and change their outlook because time is running out fast and we will find ourselves unable to catch up with the rest of the world.