Era of the People [Archives:1999/33/Reportage]

August 16 1999

Mamoon Mohammed Ahmed
Yemen Times
Day by day, the world is moving towards globalization. The whole planet is turning to a small village. Millions of people now have obtained satellite dishes and are aware of what is happening all over the world. The universal values of human rights, democracy, freedom of expression are forcing themselves to the darkest dictatorships. The world is changing, and this change is forcing itself into every house, every office, and every authority. Today, we are living in an era where people are beginning to ask for their rights. Pressure is increasing on all systems of the world to move on to the new era. It is the era where the ultimate power is that of the people. It is the era that holds a brighter future and more transparent world full of prosperity. In the same time, it also holds a gloomy season for the dictators and evil powers of the world.
This is not a novel, nor is it a story. It is part of what is happening in life. Look at how the Spanish are now asking for revenge from the Dictator Pinochet who once was an ultimate ruler who used to hit with a fist of steel in Chile for so long. He is now being requested for trial for the inhuman acts he has done in his times of rule. Publicly supported opposition powers today were able to topple the stiffest leaders who were not fit for the position of state leadership. In many countries, absolute rulers and caesuras turned into normal citizens under the continuous pressure of the people. These are facts, and we should accept them as they are.
However, some leaderships are still not aware of the globalization move and the change the world is undergoing. They are still having the same old mentality of dictatorship, which is being described today as “out-dated”.
We in Yemen have witnessed a lot of change. We were in some ways able to cope with this globalizing world. Yemenis are today aware of the world around them. They see through satellite channels the modernization and civilization in the countries of the world. They do feel sorry for their country, and they realize that their country needs to go a long way. They look through the TV that the governments of other countries with fewer natural resources and work-force have developed their countries to a much higher level. Hence, they began to see the government responsible of bringing the country to healthier conditions to be able to feel proud when saying “that is my country.”The survey of Yemen Times (published last week) has shown that the younger and more educated the person, the more courageous and self-confidence he was. This gives the impression that globalization is truly doing its work. It is enabling the people to speak for themselves and say “no” to what they see as inappropriate. They are beginning to see that what democracy and freedom of expression are not a thing granted by the government. They see it as their right that has been taken away from them for so long. The educated and young generation feels that every effort of the government in regards to giving more freedom and democracy is in fact a long-waited action.
On the other hand, the illiterate people in Yemen, who constitute more than 60% of the population are the ones who feel that democracy and freedom are two gifts from the government, and are not essential for them as they do not even know what they exactly mean. As more people become educated, and as time passes by, the thought of democracy and freedom as rights and not grants is getting stronger. Hence, the freedom of expression, neutrality in official media, fee elections, and other universal values become more and more familiar. If Yemen is to get integrated with the globalizing world, it must give these values more importance in their sole meaning. People are beginning to distinguish between a fake and true democracy. It is expected that the next generations will not be deceived by a fake democracy because they would already know how to use their rights.
Within the next millennium, we will be living in the era of the people. During that era, the most powerful rulers of the world will not be able to withstand the power of the people. Today, this power may be strong, but tomorrow it will certainly become invincible.