Re: Do I owe my country when it offers me nothing? [Archives:2002/11/Focus]

March 11 2002

Hisham K. Al-Omeisy
[email protected]
President John F. Kennedy once said, Ask not what your country can do for you, but, what can you do for your country. And in that alone we find the spirit the emblems our national interests and patriotism. And yes you do owe your country Mr. Al-Jerhoom, for the sole reason of being a Yemeni, whether it offers you the delicacies and splendor of life or not.
From the open mindedness of your own constructive critique, as you may well call it, I shall rebut your argument of country indebtness to the citizen. But I might as well say that I do totally agree with you on the mishandling of scholarship awards. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of qualified students whom get scholarships based exclusively on their academic merits. It is not hard to point out that there are those few whom get it undeservingly by virtue of their social standing. And those few stand out as discrepancies but do not dominate the system.
Let us not kid ourselves, how many of those would slice a piece out of thousands of scholarships offered annually nationwide. Would they even account for 10%? After all, we do not have over 5% VIPs within the nation representation. Dont look at the empty half cup. There are still those at least 80-90% whom deservingly are awarded scholarships.
And besides, who said the sons and daughters of officials are all but incompetent fools? They too represent some of our best cadres with a high standing within the academic merit system. Do we just point out that they pilfered away unrighteous funds?
The social structure is too complicated to view it in your stark black and white discrimination of societal layering. Again, even those who get it undeservingly represent an acute percentage almost unnoticeable, but we tend to exaggerate under the influence of social injustice. And again I do stand by the verity that even that little discrepancy should be eliminated.
Towards not finding a job, I could not avoid the undertone of your criticism, which directly points out that other countries provide better chances at jobs after graduation. For the sake of being on the same footing, you summit the whole argument upon the government requirement of experience and that in your discrete opinion this is far from reasonable.
First, I myself have witnessed several of my own friends being employed on the spot in governmental positions without the experience requirement. However, there are certain positions that do require experience and the government has all the right to ask as much. I know and I will acknowledge the factor of favor in being connected to officials and VIPs whom would throw a word in for you, but the Yemeni government is no exception. That is basically prevalent across every nation.
Do you know what the west does to support this issue, they have invented the Internship programs within universities and colleges in which case the student gets a 1) work experience 2) connections and references; during the 3rd and 4th year of his bachelor degree.
Now I have to admit we dont have this program in Yemen, but you see my point. We are no different in our own timid ways. A little tip to keep in mind is that things are looking up, the government initiated program, the Economic Reform Program has been increasing the coefficient of investment to 19% of GDP beginning in 1997, and it is rising. In addition to 790% of government revenues in the past five years, this would surely reflect upon an economic upsurge if the money is managed well, and would provide more employment opportunities.
So dont blame the government, dont blame the country, and look how can you yourself accommodate and find your own niche in the fabric of this nation. Try to remember and differentiate between the government and your own motherland. I know for a fact that you wouldnt hesitate to give your own life for the land that we all call home no matter how we are disgruntled with the government.