ReflectionsIraq’s Shameless Butchers “I Macellai Spudorati d’Iraq”,Yemeni Public Money Looting Pretexts,”Al- Qabyalah” and Sheikh Abdullah Street [Archives:2004/774/Opinion]

September 20 2004

By Yahya Al-Olfi
[email protected]

Again the brutes committing crimes in Iraq have proven that they are first and foremost enemies of Iraq, Islam and the Arabs. In addition to their excellence in beheading innocent truck drivers, harmless journalists they have opted to add to their dishonor an unforgivable disgraceful shame and that is kidnapping the two Italian young women who against the will of their government wanted to offer humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people.
It is rather bewildering to see them kidnap journalists and humanitarian volunteers. Is this in the interest of the so-called resistance? Is it in the interest of Islam? What is even more repugnant is that if money is paid as ransom, they are more than willing to turn them over to the authorities concerned.
These malicious butchers are working hard to bring Islam down through their continued deformation and zigzagged idiotic interpretation of the Quranic verses. They are by and large the worst representatives of Islam. The Americans would do well if they withdraw their forces and replace themselves with UN led Arab Forces.
The US should then provide sufficient arms and finance of such a mission beforehand and so as to guarantee the long-awaited American promise of an Iraqi everlasting democratic transformation.
I have noticed like many Yemenis that the latest fashion in justifying theft of public money is through organization of recurrent futile fruitless surveys ust name it and you shall find that many surveys have been made for it, to no avail and their sole purpose was and is still robbing public money.
The same applies on theatrical seminars, exhibitions, conferences and so forth. Most thieves of public money are occupying General Manager positions up to the ministerial level. Normal employees are in contrast mere followers of orders given to them.
It is pathetic when always you would find a Head of an Authority checking scrupulously the attendance of his meagerly paid employees whilst he is stealing the budget with his deputy, assistant deputy, financial, administrative and personnel manager.
This is the case in all state institutions and our Auditing and Inspection Authority is as people say ” Like the deaf in a Wedding Procession”. The prevalent, mismanagement furthered through profiteering and favoritism-based nominations are still the norm.
I know many such irresponsibles with many castles, cars and foreign bank accounts and who are still unsatisfied yet. The population is on the rise and such men are still playing this dangerous game. Often, they have reached the age of retirement a long time ago but are still clutching to their seats. It is funny enough to notice that younger employees are being pushed to retire because they lost hope and I am one of them.
Not long ago, I was asked by an American learning Arabic about the meaning of “Qabyalah” which he repeatedly hears in dealing with Yemenis. Qabyalah comes from the Arabic word Qabeelah which means “Tribe” and as Arab tribes have traditions which encourage honesty, assistance protection and good ethics, which unfortunately have been tampered with, forgotten or misquoted.
Anyhow a Yemeni would mean by saying “you and your Qabyalah” : I count on your Honesty and Uprightness in order to be fair in your judgement. If negotiations on a price of something do not come to an agreed result, e.g. if a mechanic repairs a car and asks for YR20, 000.00 and you say no that is too much, he might tell you ” It is up to you and your Qabyalah” which literally means ” Pay tribalistically, Please”. Speaking about Tribalism, I once rode the car from Bab Sh'iuub towards Al-Hasabah and was told by the taxi driver that we would go through Sheik Abdullah Street.
I told him there is no street named as such in Sana'a. He answered when we reach that street you would know what I mean by “Sheikh Abdullah Street”. As we arrived near the Textile Factory, which was given to Yemen as a present following the 26th of September 1962 Revolution which ended the theocratic rule of Yemen, I noticed that the wide street had no longitudinal pavement and the cars went from one side to another.
He told me don't you see how chaotic this street is? I answered him, yes I do. I later knew from him that he named the street as such because driving there is tribalistic, not in accordance to the traffic rules. So, tribalistic means also “up and down” or chaotic.
He named the street after Sheikh Abdullah because the latter is the Paramount Chieftain of Hashid tribal federation and is believed to be behind the wisdom “two thirds against one third” in the Yemeni traffic jargon i.e. if your car hits mine and you are wrong, we would calculate how much it would cost to repair the damage and then you would just pay me two thirds of the cost. In fact this is the ultimate ruling in practice.