Interview with the Yemeni community’s president in QatarYemenis in Qatar: a vibrant community [Archives:2003/692/Community]

December 8 2003

Yasser Mohammed Al-Mayyasi
A great percentage of people have migrated from their homeland of Yemen, and Yemeni communities abroad are well-known .
While visiting Qatar, I had the opportunity to meet with Zain Muhsin al-Murqeb, head of the Yemeni community there. Dialouging about the issues realting to Yemenis in Qatar and their concernes and hopes. Here are some of his comments.

Q. Could you tell us about about the Yemeni community in Qatar?
A. It is one of the oldest in Qatar, as Yemenis traveled to Qatar right from the early forties of the last century. The long history of Yemenis in Qatar has given them the advantage of being able to merge with the the society. This is due to the similiarity between the two cultures.
Yemenis have recieved kind treatment from the Qatar authorities, especially that Yemenis around the world are known for their kindess and well behavior as well as hardwork and loyality in their work. Such charachteristcs have made Yemenis peopular and loved in the Qatar society, and today there are around 7 thousand Yemenis in Qatar.
The Yemeni community was established in mid-70s. Eventually procedures became more organized, and in mid 1996 elections took place for the president and the council members. From this election, six committees emerged representing the adiministrative body of the Yemeni community in Qatar. These committees include the social committes, sports, finnacial, media, cultural, and women's committee. The community participated in the first and second conference for immigrants and the last elections took place on April 27.

Q. What are the main fields which Yemenis in Qatar work in?
A. In the past Yemenis in Qatar used to work in security and the armed forces. But today and with the advancing technologies Yemenis in Qatar studied and graduated from various universities and now they are working in different fields and in critical disciplines such as medicine, engineering, media and sports. There are many Yemenis working al-Jazeera channel itself.

Q. What are the services which the community committees provides to the Yemenis in Qatar?
A. The committees support Yemenis in so many ways and cares for issues and problems such as residency papers and education for the children due to the high expenses of education. These people need help and support and we are commited to providing them with the help they require.
The financial support we provide comes from the donations from the Yemenis themselves. It comes from the community's resources as well, as we used to have other resources in the past. Now they are no longer available. For example when we were invited to Sana'a on the occassion of 10 years since unity, we were hoping to get a million Yemeni Riyals for the community's sports team, but unfortunately received only half of the amount, and this support stopped completely without any explanation.

Q. Do the Yemeni abroad get help from authorities in Yemen?
A. Firstly, I want to clarify that the Yemeni community is considered the most important community in Qatar. Also I want to emphasise that in many occasions they do not recieve the proper support.
The Yemeni embassy does its work effiectively and in many cases it solves the problems there. But in cases where the files are sent to Yemeni authorties, such as ministry of education or ministry of interior affairs, they do not recieve the desired care and in many cases they are dumped and ignored.
We have raised these complaints in the first and second immigration conferece in Sana'a, and we hope that the authoraties realise the importance of the issues and start working more effectively, because a lot of hope falls on the Yemenis abroad for the development and progress of the country.