Letters to the Editor [Archives:2002/07/Letters to the Editor]

February 11 2002

Security and qat should be the focus
I thank and support you on your request to the Yemen authorities (in your editorials) to stop acts of destabilization of the country. The time has come for Yemen to stand up and fight for a better life for its people.
It is very sad to see how a few people have such a big impact on the economy of the country. Acts of terrorism, mainly kidnappings, keep many tourists away from your beautiful country. There arent many countries in the world that have such a nice and diverse landscape, wonderful architecture and very friendly people.
But many tourists are afraid of coming to Yemen. This means of course great economic losses in hard currency that could help many Yemenis have better lives.
There’s also another big problem in Yemen which nobody wants to talk about. That is qat. I understand Yemeni people like to chew qat. But this plant has a significant negative impact on the economy and the lives of Yemenis. There are virtually no exported goods from Yemen and people spend most of their salaries on qat. So I think that the Yemeni people are partially to blame for the current deteriorating situation in Yemen.
But it’s never too late for change.
I hope that the government will hear your brave request for better enforcement of the law to help bring a better future for your country.
While others may stay away, still, I know, no matter how tough things are, they wont keep me away from Yemen. Its a country that I love very much.
Jan Beyers
[email protected]
Dear Al-Najjar: Give Women a Chance
I want to respectfully reply to the article Short Answers… by Mr. Anees Al-Najjar from the 28th January edition.
I do not see the world in such black-and-white terms as Mr. Najjar, and I would like to make the following comments. To quote from Mr. Najjars letter: They (women) seem not to be satisfied with being women. More like: They (women) seem not to be satisfied with being Mr. Najjar’s idea of what women should be!
I believe that God blessed us, both men AND women, with potential and talent to develop, and that it really is our God-given right to have the chance to develop them.
My wife is a professional woman with two university degrees. She has been working for the last ten years in the field of agricultural development in the developing world.
Because of her work, she is away from home, sometimes for months at a time.
How do I feel about this? I miss her quite a lot. But at the same time I know that her work brings her a lot of pleasure, challenge and satisfaction. And I support her when she is frustrated by barriers put in her way by male counterparts who feel jealous, threatened, self-righteous or, even, well-meaning (as I believe is Mr. Najjar).
I know if my wife had to live the life of a ‘bird in the gilded cage’ she would be unhappy and, our marriage would suffer.
If we love and respect our women, then that love and respect should go as far as to accept that they may wish to take different paths than those we think they should. Mr Najjar should realize that many women do not want a sweet and secure life.
They want a life of challenge and exploration just like many men. They want a chance to help to make the world a better, safer and more peaceful place.
And, quite honestly, seeing what death, destruction and unhappiness some of us men have caused over the last thousands of years, I believe they could do no worse then we.
Given the chance, they could probably do better.
Steve Hurley
[email protected]