Letters to the Editor [Archives:2001/30/Letters to the Editor]
Good Memories of Yemen
First, have good days, dear Yemenis. I have written this article on this date because it is the nicest season in Iraq, Spring. I am one of thousands who visited or, more precisely, settled in Yemen, the generous country. So I must tender my regards to Yemen and draw attention of Yemenis to the impressions of visitors.
I found people so kind from Bedouins to mountaineers. Really, this view is not superfluous or complimentary, but it is legitimate and has become a part of my life. When a new comer steps in Sana’a International airport, he is offered help by many to make telephones, get a lift or any other kind of service. Yemenis are very sociable and good-spirited people.
I spent five Years in Yemen as an English teacher and a translator, and I found them having generous spirits and general respect for others. I felt what they felt and witnessed what they witnessed from progress to settlement.
I still remember the streets, squares and districts and their names where I lived, and walked. I can not dismiss them as mere memories. Hence I have made them a living presence in my daily life. A nice small incident happened to me here in Iraq when I was on a bus saying (Ala Jamb). The bus driver did not understand it, then I said it in Iraqi (Nazil), “getting of” . He stopped it and let me off.
The typical Yemeni personality is very simple and a sympathizing one, Yemenis care for the essence of the human spirit. It is quite easy to meet any V.I.P and see that arrogance has no place in their hearts. These few lines can not capture all the good aspects of the Yemeni personality.
Yemenis hold their civilization in one hand and let the second hand discover new future horizons. The Yemeni civilization is just like gold under dust. All what it needs is to sweep that dust away and let that shine again to enrapture the eyes.
Strategically, there are many planners and specialists who can help in the multi-faceted development and who can help foster the Yemeni originality, openness and reality. Education is the light by which we see and choose our way. It enlightens the ways and eases difficulties, let alone its effect on personality. Learners and trainees with new horizons of knowledge and development are choosing the curriculum.
I am talking about the new changes and their future implications. Architecturally, most parts of Yemen witnessed a new era of construction and expansion. New multi-floor building were set up, new roads were laid in addition to the growth of gardening. Also, communication systems have been wisely and fruitfully improved to serve the increased demands of traffics; not to mention the Internet technology and information revolution.
To conclude, Yemen possesses enough efficient plans, but what it needs is an actual sincere action plan with reasonable and balanced steps.
That was a brief account of a foreigner’s memories and compliments to a country and people whom he can not forget.
Once again: Have nice days dear Yemenis.
Member of the Iraqi Translators Association
I would like to note to all Yemenis the extremist stand towards calls for reviewing our relations with Israel. Some even view the Arabs softening approach towards Israel as not only unlawful but even blasphemous. During the earlier times, Arab leaders embraced the then USSR in order to defy the west which they saw as biased towards Israel. Like they didn’t know that the majority of the present day Israelis are Russian immigrants! The same Russia that is now butchering Chechen Moslems by thousands with their scorched earth policy towards the whole population. The same Russia that brought about untold suffering and misery to Afghanis Moslems. That country is coming down to its knees as the civil strife continues unchecked. Defying Russia’s legacy.
Some may go on to claim that communist China is a true friend of the Arab/Moslems. Of the Arabs, maybe, but the Moslems, we just have to go to China’s own Moslem population and witness the ruthless repression and suppression under the communist regime.
What about Japan? Well, Japan is everybody’s friend, its an open secret that the policies are molded out of their economic considerations and all their handsome economic packages in form of Aid are widely believed to benefit themselves in the long run.
But Cuba seems to be loyal! Who cares, everybody expects things to change after the ‘old guard’ goes to rest. Surely it was he alone who spells and fixes his country’s outdated policies. And by the way, he is in no position to aid any Arab/Moslem country.
Another recently quipped that the French are the real friends to the Arabs & Moslems because of the way they are showing solidarity with Iraq in their dispute with the U.N. As if we didn’t know how much inducement oil could bring. The whole war was for the oil anyway. Are we also to forget the 1 million Algerians were slaughtered during their struggle for independence from France?
So may I suggest that before we declare war on USA, Britain and Israel, may we reflect on those we intend to rely on (since the Arabs have proven to be totally unreliable, just ask the Palestinians) since I see signs of rehabilitation by the three countries I’ve just mentioned? I rest my case!
I am an English language self-study student, whose wish is to practice English language. I am asking for your help. I sent you this letter to explain my situation after I really hesitated many times to do so. I did however write it a long time ago. I had to postpone it because living in country like ours makes you disappear and have a bad idea about people all around. You know that no one will look at you if you don’t have money.
But I read a letter in the issue dated (25/06/2001 ) written by Mohammed M. Al-Malahi. This letter motivated me to send you my own letter.
The writer selfishly asked Yemen Times to arrange a competition in writing essays, short stories, and poems between the students of English department alone as if they are only people who are privileged to practice English or complement it is noticed that YT makes a big mistake by treating best level in English language speakers ignoring all self-studying English students who are deprived from all aspects of practicing English, and who are really in need for such competition.
I know a lot of the students of the English department, and in this respect I want to advice them by saying “don’t be proud of your language” and try to be more humble. Do your best and drop your selfishness, and remember that many street people can indeed speak better than many of the student of English department.
We ask you to also arrange a competition as mentioned above , but it should be an open competition for all youth, from all classes of the Yemeni. Kindly take our request into consideration.
Mahdi khaled khalil
I am glad that you opened up and expressed your feelings. I do sometimes think that we put English-department students in front. But this is due to the initiative taken by those students and their teachers. However, I will surely take your request into consideration and discuss it with the editorial board members.
Me and my family loved your recent article “Live Evidence on Yemen’s Safety for Travel & Tourism” published in issue 28/2001. I am Yemeni and my wife is an American and we will be coming to Yemen soon. I have copied this article for her relatives and friends to help them understand the misconception of Yemen not being safe!