Letters to the Editor [Archives:1999/37/Letters to the Editor]

September 13 1999

What on Earth is going On in Yemen?
The news of the bombing that happened in Sana’a on August 28th, 1999 was a real shock for us.
We would expect to hear that someone was murdered for blood revenge, or that a person was killed for trying to take a piece of land from another by force or anything like that, but we never expected such a powerful explosion in the capital of the republic and in such a location, like Haddah Street.
These violent events have been increasing greatly in the last years and the thing we want to know is “what on earth is going on in Yemen?”
Is it really some of our beloved neighboring countries? Is it the opposite parties inside the country? Is it the fundamental groups? Or is it our own open-minded tribes that are playing around?
Well, to be honest, as Yemeni citizens, it is not important for us to know who is doing it, rather than knowing where is our government, and what are they doing about it? 
Can’t they even secure the capital city? We all know that these kinds of problems occur everywhere, but Yemen has been suffering from it for more than five years now. Isn’t that quite a sufficient time to find some positive solutions? Not to eliminate them, but even to reduce them. I think it is much more than enough, but only if there are some honest people working on it.
However, many things have contributed to the current situation of Yemen. Maybe one of the most important aspects is the country’s democracy status. Although many people will disagree with me in this, but I think that our decision-makers did not think seriously about the consequences of being a democratic country. I am not saying that democracy is bad or wrong, but I want to ask, “were we really up to being a democratic country?” Was Yemen prepared for it? I think it should have been applied in a different way and more gradually; especially since Yemen has many enemies who are jealous of the success and prosperity of Yemen and will keep trying to keep it going, in different ongoing problems.
Therefore, as long as we already made the decision of being democratic, and we are now a democratic country, we should stick with it, even though we were not a democratic country before. All Yemenis should be positive and gather their efforts to get Yemen through this critical point. Decision-makers and people in charge should be more conscious and plan well for the future. Finally, I ask God to guide Yemen and help us all to get it back to what it was before.
Ahmed Alabsi
President of the Yemeni Students’ Union in Calgary
Alberta, Canada.
Dear Editor,
I just wanted to comment on “They Say….I Say.” As I was reading that piece I imagined the writer as a male. When I came to the ending I saw it was a female. It was kind of shocking, but relieving at the same time. A woman going off on Americans, not knowing the language or the people there. That gives me encouragement to tell my parents to let me off to college, but they won’t let me move away to further my education, which I don’t understand. Why is it ok for some families to let their daughters go off, and for some it’s not OK? I just don’t get it! I wanted to move to Sacramento because school would be easier for me. I know there would be times where I would have to come home a bit late. I hope that won’t happen frequently though. Even though it is only 45 minutes away, my parents can’t seem to find it in their hearts to let me go. 
That piece just gives me great inspiration to tell my parents and hopefully, they will at least think about it, hopefully! I have just found this site a few days ago, literally, by accident, in the schools computer lab and I love it already. Thank you for putting out such a great newspaper!
Yasmin Bazel
Email: [email protected]
Dear Editor,
Because I try to keep in contact with Yemen during my stay in Germany I always use your newspaper for information about this country. According to all my friends who are familiar with the situation in Yemen I am sure that you are the only independent and critical paper in the whole country.
On the culture page of issue 34, I found an article written by Dr. Azza Mohammed Abdo Ghanem about the “Rights of Woman in Islam”. To know and to understand more about Islam and its influence over the Islamic life, I try to get all information available for me. I will come to Yemen again in October, and I am interested in meeting Dr. Azza.
Dr. Margot Reinke
Dear Editor,
I read what Dr. Azza Ghanem wrote about women in Islam and I think that her attitude is part of the problem and not of the solution. There is an image problem (generally with regard to the west) that we seem so concerned about and want to correct, rather than the actual reality of women in our country and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Instead of defending Islam as a religion, it would be more helpful to defend Muslim women themselves in our times, with the problems that I think you are well aware of. The attitude of we were better than you 14-centuries ago does no help whatsoever, and indeed it suggest a feeling of insecurity, and the need to show others that we are not as stupid as our conduct would suggest! It is better to change bad (reality) of Muslim women and be self-critical, than to change the (image) of others about Islamic law. Even if others believe your interpretations, change the (image). What good would that bring to your bad reality?