Letters to the Editor [Archives:2001/13/Letters to the Editor]

March 26 2001
Oppressed yet Orators
Sometime ago I read a story in Yemen Times’ press scanner about a Yemeni journalist with some passengers on a mini-bus (dabbab). As the story mentions, one of the passengers started cursing the situation of the horrible circumstances people are living in and all other passengers voiced their curses too.
He said that people were condemning the situation and therefore the leadership. The journalist who is the editor of an independent weekly also said that he was cursed as well when he tried to defend the president while no one else did. He concluded that it was the result of candid indignation, and decided to make it the viewpoint of his paper.
I experienced a similar episode. As a full dabbab started moving out of the station, one of the passengers kiddingly said, this place in the middle of the dabbab could be saved for two or three seats; another passenger quickly replied, just two years more for Al-Iryani in office, I guarantee bus owners will seek to make second floor seats on their buses.
I am sure such utterances are repeated everyday and the oppressed people have got used to harshly condemning their leadership without any echo. But such an outcry immediately reminded me of Kinnock’s words on the eve of the British election in 1983 when he said “If Margaret Thatcher is re-elected as a prime minister, I warn you that you will have pain when healing and relief dependent upon payment-I warn you that you will be cold when fuel charges are used as a tax system that the rich don’t notice and the poor can’t afford-I warn you not to go into the streets alone after dark or into the streets in large crowds of protest in the light. I warn you that you will be quiet when the curfew of fear and the gibbet of unemployment makes you obedient.” He goes on “If Margaret Thatcher wins, she will be more a leader than a prime minister. If Margaret Thatcher wins, I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill, I warn you not to get old.”
Thus Neil Kinnock states as a left-wing leader about what he believed to be of concern to the common people of Britain. Is there a difference between Kinnock’s words and the passenger’s?
If there is any, it would just be that Kinnock was an MP and an orator whereas the latter was a common man.
Abdulaziz Al-Tubba’i,
Dear Editor,
I would like to congratulate you on your 10th anniversary. I read the Yemen Times internet issue on a regular basis. I have always admired the personal efforts made by Mr. Abdulaziz towards a lot of issues and concerns in Yemen.
Yemen Times has been able to attract numerous readers all over the world by bringing up issues directly related to social, political, economic and humanitarian matters. To mention some of these issues; financial and administrative corruption, racial discriminations, equality among citizens, Qat’s devastating effects, judiciary, education, human resources development, etc.
Recently, YT seems to gradually divert toward the routine news, which we always hear from TV channels – inaugurations and visits by Mr. X & Mr. Y. We are not, also, too interested in how your reporter got into the taxi and reached his destination. Reports and focus tend to teach us our past history. We live for the present and not the past. We need prevailing issues to be brought up and discussed. Give chances to more writers to be part of this newspaper. We respect you and your endeavor, but we don’t want to hear about the two computers. We want to hear about what is going in the streets of Yemen or behind the closed curtain.
I hope every contribution being made for the success and continuation of this newspaper is of great benefit to all Yemenis.
Salim Sadan
[email protected]
Dear editor,
For how long will the UNHCR, Sana’a turn its back on the legally registered Ethiopian political refugees, who have been patiently waiting for a proper and practical reply for the past 10 years?
During the past years I repeatedly (more than 300 times to be exact) tried to contact the responsible UNHCR body in order to seek lasting solutions for the abuses, discriminations and harassment I faced only because I am a refugee from another country, and nothing else. Unfortunately, there has been no one who is willing to talk to me.
No matter whether it was deliberate or a coincidence, I have been under constant attack from different people. After I survived these barbarous attacks, I could not find a proper place to spend a single night, let alone my usual life, which by itself has been full of nightmares and problems.
For a poor and vulnerable refugee, always under the mercy of others even for day to day life, this is too much to bear . I badly need psychiatric help in order to keep my deteriorating condition in shape. With the help and blessing of the Almighty Lord, I believe and expect the situation to be straightened out in the near future.
Tilahun Kebede Tilahun
Ethiopian Political Refugee
Sana’a Yemen