From rural to urban, the attractive choice for Yemeni youth – Part 3 [Archives:2008/1203/Reportage]

October 30 2008

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.

Despite the numerous success stories of youth emigrating to urban areas, agricultural lands and families are the first victims of this change. Endurance and deprivation often motivate youth to work hard and raise their standard of living while guilt of what they left behind often drives them to crime and eventually prison.

Naif Attam is a successful example for the rural youths who emigrated to Sana'a seeking better education and a brighter future. Attam moved to Sana'a twelve years ago after completing basic education. He entered a University, studied computer programming and after graduating at the top of his class, found a good position in a company with a high position.

“I studied and went to Sana'a not because I wanted to get a job in the future or I was suffering from poverty but because I had a desire to learn,” Attam said.

He stated that his emigration to Sana'a didn't affected his land as his father wasn't too old and he was able to look after their lands, but the emigration affected his family emotionally, prompting him to visit them every two weeks. “My emigration to Sana'a didn't distance me from my village at all. I'm always in touch with my family as I call them at least once a day and visit them every month,” he added.

Though Naif's family is always eager for his company, they understand his circumstances and can empathize with his desire to move to the city, especially because his absence does not affect the family nor the lands.

Fahd Al-Fahd came to Sana'a thirteen years ago to complete his studies. Despite his struggles and financial situation, he completed secondary school with a high grade point average that qualified him to join the faculty of medicine and become a doctor.

In spite of the success that Al-Fahd has achieved, he always has the feeling of missing something dear to him. So he seizes all opportunities to visit his family in the village and work in the land, although he is now a medical doctor. “Though I have become a doctor