Problems of 1960s are still ours today [Archives:2003/674/Opinion]

October 6 2003

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
Nobody can deny the fact that the 26 September Revolution 1962 has considerably improved the life of the Yemeni people in comparison with the situation under the Imam rule. However, what has been achieved during these four decades does not meet the aspirations of Yemeni people. The priorities of the revolutionaries are still ours today. Political, social, economic stability, good health and education, fighting ignorance, illiteracy- these all were the priorities of the revolution and concerns of the people behind it. However, they are still our main headache today after 41 years. What a pity!
During this period the country was embroiled into the turmoil of several problems, mainly political which in return created instability that considerably slowed down the process of development in the society. After 4 decades we even failed to abolish the tribal vengeance which has been claiming the lives of many Yemenis since then.
Of the main concerns of the revolution was introducing good education and health, enhancing law, justice, security and fighting against the “chains” of the Imam's jails. Unfortunately, these efforts to achieve the aspirations of the folks could not hit the nail on the head and put us on the right track.
We have many schools and some universities but “Do they meet the development needs at a time where more than 70% of population are still illiterate”? We have many hospitals but they are empty even from aspirin at a time where thousands of Yemenis still die of malaria. Yes guys, prisons of the Imams were demolished but we have many jails belonging to various (Immams) tribal sheikhs in different areas all over the country. Security and safety is still something which we need as we need water. The absence of law and order and justice is more visible in the cases piled up in courts for many years and other lawless practices by influential guys at the power center. There is no any sort of accountability to stop the horror of corrupt crooks who are pocketing money of the masses and crippling any silver lining for development and progress. Tribal norms remain above the rule of law as the political regime still upholds and clings to such norms and therefore the power of the tribe still controls everything in our life. There is no any real intention to civilize the people.
By and large, I do not mean here to put down or deny the achievements we have made so far since 1962. Rather, I simply do not want the priorities of the people in the1960s and 1970s be ours today. Our concerns today should not be to teach people to read and write only; they should be to live up to the challenges of the time and fight against the illiteracy of computer and internet. They should be to combat cancer and other serious diseases, not malaria. In short, we need another revolution in different arenas of our life. It is only this way could people realize the real change their revolution had made in their lives.