Food for ThoughtsWaleed’s candles and the bright future [Archives:2007/1065/Community]

July 5 2007

Maged Thabet Al-Kholidy
[email protected]

“I would not forget to put candles in my suitcase.”

Waleed Farea

New Maxico, USA.

Waleed is a regular reader of Yemen Times. He said the above statement when he heard the news about the last Cabinet reshuffle. His statement is clear. It, however, implies different meanings, which sound negative to some readers and positive to the others. It can be interpreted as a flash back of the past of Yemen's electricity, a spotlight on the present, and as a foreshadow on its future.

The statement can be understood as a flashback of the past status of the ministry of Electricity. During the period in which Mr. Mujawar was the minister of Electricity, almost all the cities evidently witnessed continuous power cuts. Since Mr. Mujawar could not solve such a critical problem, he would not act better as a Prime Minister. Because of this, candles would not be forgotten to be put in the suitcase when Mr. Waleed comes back home.

Mentioning only the candles indicates that the reader did really suffer a lot from the power failures or maybe from candles themselves.

His suffering from candles is either because of the unavailability of the candles which do not cover the exact needs of the everyday power cuts. Or it is because of the bad quality candles available in Yemen. More candles of higher qualities will be brought from USA. In both cases, I think, it is the ministry of Electricity to be blamed for not making candles of high quality available.

The statement can be also interpreted as spotlight on the present status of the electricity. The President once promised to constitute electricity stations using atomic energy. The new minister was the President's Consultant for the atomic power. Such a project might have been suggested by him and up till now nobody knows about it.

Thinking about such a project, the new minister may neglect the old stations of electricity. This promises no betterment in the ministry, and more and more power failures.

If a 'normal project' is accomplished through out years, then such 'abnormal project' may need decades to be fulfilled. That means more and more candles would be needed. Nobody knows whether this is included in the new plans of the government or not. Because of this, that reader will not forget to bring candles for personal use and might be as gifts for the others.

The statement may be understood as a foreshadow of the future of Yemen's electricity. It indicates a worse status than before. In other words, Mujawar succeeded in the Ministry of Electricity, but the new minister is expected to fail.

Mujawer has vowed to make 2007 with least power failures. This makes people hope that there might be no failures in 2007. But, replacing him means he is no longer responsible for the vow and, subsequently, the failures system continuous worse and worse.

Another instance of this is the use of the word 'candles' without a definite article, which means that no candles were used during Mujawar's ministerial period in the ministry of Electricity. Because of that, candles seem as if new things firstly mentioned with the declaration of Mujawar's Cabinet.

The statement can be also interpreted as a foreshadow in the sense that it is like a witness of Mujawar's success in the ministry of Electricity and his expected success as a Prime minister. At the same time, it seems as if telling that the new minister of electricity is not as qualified as Mujawar.

The statement may carry a different meaning. By “putting candles in his suitcase””