Keep Yemen clean and tidy [Archives:2007/1081/Community]

August 30 2007

By: Majed Thabet Al-kholidy
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The streets of most of our cities make me feel sad. They are full of rubbish. The government sometimes launches a campaign to clean at least some of the main streets. Cleaners work day and night: but the cleanness never lasts long. Unfortunately, our citizens prefer to be careless and indifferent.

Walking in the streets, you may not realize they are dirty. This is not because they are clean. But because you are used to seeing rubbish everywhere. As a result, you may get a shock if you see the streets clean.

Some people may not realize the ugliness of rubbish because they throw the rubbish themselves to the streets. They get used to do so. And they never feel that they are doing something wrong.

Sometimes, I am surprised by the cleanness inside some people's homes. They clean everything, and then feel that their only duty is to get rid of rubbish outside of the home. Then they step out of home, carrying that rubbish to find a place to dump it. This should not be immediately outside their front door: it's shameful to do that.

One should respect such people for they feel and think that homes and also 'in front of homes' reflect their personalities. But they should think more about their streets and how bad they look and how this reflects on our homeland.

A person may curse and condemn the dirtiness of those places, and at the same time he may throw Qat or any rubbish to the streets. Sometimes he feels angry for seeing such dirty streets. At the same time, he feels happy for throwing everything everywhere because that does not cost him time or anything else.

It really happens to every one of us dear readers. There are no restrictions on street litter as there are in other countries. And sometimes there is no sense of nationality, and homeland respect. If nobody punishes for such immoral and irreligious behaviors, at least everyone should observe him/herself.

The case becomes different when one of us travels abroad. There the streets may seem clean. So the Yemeni traveler behaves in a different way. He puts rubbish in the special place provided. He keeps the place clean and condemns the state of his homeland. He enjoys this and never complains about not being able to drop rubbish in the street. The only thing he does there is condemning the state of homeland.

The moment he comes back, he starts another daily routine. He talks to his friends about the cleanness abroad, comparing it with the cursed state of the dirtiness here. Meanwhile, he drinks water and throws the battle to the street.

Really one feels ashamed when we find foreigners respect our country more than we do. They do best to keep it clean, feeling that it is a duty that everyone should do any where in the world.

A real story astonished me. In one of the universities, in one of the halls, there were two or three rubbish bins. But there were a lot of empty water battles, drink cans, tissues, and plastic spread everywhere in the hall. The students as well as the Yemeni teachers do not notice this. They never attack such scenes as if they were interested in such a situation.

This is in a university, where suppose to find the most educated and cultured class of people. In comparison, we can imagine how bad the situation would be in the schools and the other institutions, and streets.

The university students got a shock when a foreign doctor came into the room, and began to collect the rubbish and put it into the special bins. The students were ashamed of themselves. They could not stop that doctor for he was doing that as a duty. ~That doctor taught us a lesson.

I wrote this article not to acquit myself and accuse others. My aim is to make myself first and everyone else accept the responsibility to keep everywhere clean and tidy. We all should deal seriously with this matter; it would make an immediate and noticeable difference in the appearance of our beautiful country. I hope, dear reader, that you will support me.

Majed Thabet Al-kholidy is a writer from Taiz, currently doing his M.A. at English Dep, Taiz Uni. He is an ex-editor of English Journal of the University