RAY: Sanaa weekly, 17-3-98. [Archives:1998/12/Press Review]

March 23 1998

[published for 1st time since 1994 war]
(League of the Sons of Yemen)

Main Headline:
1- Yemeni people embrace the President’s call for ‘closing the dossiers of the past.’
2- European MPs call for stopping the trial of the 16 secessionist leaders and starting a process of national reconciliation.
3- British House of Commons considers the response of the exiled opposition figure, Al-Jifri, a good step to start national reconciliation.
Article Summary:
Untouchables in Yemen
By: Khalid Al-Soofi
They are Yemenis and Muslims that are cruelly ostracized by society because they are poor and black. They live in abject poverty in settlements of tin shacks at the outskirts of major cities. The Akhdam are completely neglected by the government and society in general. Some of them live in the open desert, away from urban centers and the mercy of the soaring heat, shifting sand dunes, snakes and scorpions, and a full gamut of diseases. They do simple menial jobs and live on the hand-outs of some charitable people.
Neglecting these people is completely un-Islamic. Calling them Akhdam or servants is humiliating. They live amongst us like a time-bomb ready to go off under the increasing pressure of poverty and blatant discrimination.