Nobody seems responsible for Yemen’s povertySo do we just blame ourselves? [Archives:2004/713/Opinion]

February 19 2004

By Sallam Qasem
[email protected]
For The Yemen Times

I read the article “We are the ones helping” published on the front page of Edition 712 of The Yemen Times. The article made it very clear that we should not blame the World Bank for the price hikes, since the world bank is merely suggesting reforming strategies and our government is the one to implement them.
It was also supported with a theoretical explanation about how this reform “should not” cause a prices increase, a theory that all Yemenis look at with suspicion, especially with our life experience with some prices doubling with each reform dose.
On the other hand, we cannot blame the government, since, as stated by Ahmed Ghaleb , we operate in a free market and it is the international market and currency fluctuations that are the cause.
Hence, a Yemeni citizen should blame himself, but even that is not permitted, and we all know how the “political security” is currently tracking down a Yemen singer for making a tape called “I deserve it.”
I wonder how a Yemeni citizen can rely on a government that refuses to take responsibility to what happens to its economy, blaming naively the free market; as if we are living in a vacuum with no indications, no statistics, and no analysis.
Yemen is already one of the poorest countries in the world, and the actions of our government in denying responsibility won't help. We as Yemeni citizens demand the government to take serious actions to handle this crisis.
We demand to know how we will be able to feed, transport, and live. We demand our government to come down from its towers, and to experience the life of a regular Yemeni citizen.
We don't care whose responsibility it is, as much as we care about how much we going to pay for 'aldabab' (minibus), and for a bread the next day.
I once read this “When it is good for everybody, it is good for me.” I wonder if our government will ever realize this concept!