IMPRESSION ABOUT YEMEN [Archives:1999/36/Law & Diplomacy]

September 6 1999


Yahya Rabah,  
Palastenian Ambassador 
& Deplomatic Missions Chief 
I arrived in Yemen in the morning of May 22, 1990. I was associated with the President Arafat during his visit. We directly moved to Palestinian Hall in Aden where the announcement of the Unity and the Republic of Yemen was declared. That was one of the greatest moments of my life. That day signalled the start of my life as an Ambassador of Palestine to Yemen. Frankly speaking, I carried a lot of love for this beautiful country. That is because of the great and undeniable friendship between Yemen and Palestine, as well as because of my the close relation with a number of Yemeni People who accompanied me in the revolution army when I was a soldier in South Lebanon. 
Since the day of my appointment, and during those nine years that have passed after becoming the ambassador, I have visited a number of governorates, from Sa’da in the north down to Hadhramout in the South. I passed through Hodeidah, Taiz, Dhamar, Ibb, Mareb, Aljawf, Lahj and Shabwh and had experience in them all. In addition to this, I have been to many districts in the Sana’a governorate. Indeed, I was filled with admiration of what I have seen so far of this country. I have also become familiar in dealing with the Yemeni society, its hospitality, bravery, kind-heartedness and faithful desire of supporting the others. These characteristics are among the most respected in any nation in the whole world. Recently, I have seen what I wish not to see. 
However, the only drawback I have seen is the wide spread of weapons in major cities, specifically in Sanaa. I was really terrified to see thousands of men carrying arms and walking around in the cities. I have felt that the Yemeni wisdom is stronger than the thoughts that weapons should be carried or used in cities by normal citizens. I am yet to know what the reason behind the carrying of all these weapons is. 
Since my arrival to Yemen, I have seen great and promising developments on political, economic, social and cultural levels. The Yemeni Unity was the turning point for the Yemeni society towards a brighter future. Democracy has been adopted and the right of the freedom of the press has been secured for all the sectors of the community. This right has been given to the opposition parties and to the private associations to practice their rights in all fields and in all possible ways. The ruling party, represented by H.E. President, Ali Abdullah Saleh made great efforts in taking care of and pushing forward these democratic values. It opening the way for political movements to express all their views. The democratic process has been implemented in the 1997 parliamentary elections, and in the ensuing Presidential Elections scheduled to be on September 23. 
I am optimistic about the future of Yemen because Yemeni people have patience and are capable of overcoming any obstacle ahead of them. I can clearly feel the ambitions of the Yemeni people for a better future. I am glad that the Republic of Yemen has chosen the right way to move into the future, and that is resembled in choosing democracy. Yemen has shown to the world that it is a wise country that is heading towards new developments in the next millennium. 
In addition to this, the Yemeni government is seeking ways to administrate the country’s resources in new ways. It also is working hard to preserve security for the sake of Yemeni people. It seems to be following a successful and peaceful policy which will consequently enable it to cope with the rest of the world in a better way.