From rural to urban, the attractive choice for Yemeni youth: Part 2 [Archives:2008/1202/Reportage]

October 27 2008

Almigdad Mojalli
Internal emigration from villages to cities is a global phenomenon. Especially with the development of long distance transportation and telecommunication that allows people to stay in touch despite the distances. Almigdad Mojalli investigates this phenomenon in a three part series researching why youth travel to the cities, how this has hanged them and what happens to their farms and families back home in the countryside.

The common reason behind most if not all of the Yemeni youth leaving the suburbs and taking to the cities is a dream for a better life. They carry high expectations financially, academically and socially.

Yet most of them go through a cultural shock in the new life style, especially if they have never been to the cities before.

A stranger in your own country

When some youth come to the city they are introduced to many new habits and social practices which make them feel as though they are strangers to this country. Many youth complained of being exposed to discrimination and made fun of because of their rural accent, way of dressing or lack of general knowledge. There are small things such as personal space and talking to girls or even greetings that vary significantly from the rural areas to the cities.

Ahmed Al-Emad, 57, a university graduate described how, when he was studying at Sana'a university, he once entered the doctors chamber asking about an Indian doctor,

“As I entered