ReflectionsThe Hungarian & the Portuguese, the most famous yet the most hated man in the Arab World & “Crying Over Spilt Milk” [Archives:2005/844/Opinion]

May 23 2005

By Yahya Al-Olfi
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Portugal and Portuguese are still abundant with Arab names and words. Europeans refer to Arabs at the time when they were occupying the Iberian Peninsula as moors which is an imprecise name and is often meant to be hateful. It is known, that most warriors of the Islamic incursions of those days came from Yemen.

On the other hand, when the Islamic Presence vanished in the Iberian Peninsula, the Turks were already in possession of what remained of the once far-reaching Islamic Empire. The Portuguese and the Spanish following their emancipation went out in search of India and Indian condiments which were brought exclusively through Arab lands, this is why when they reached the Americas they named the indigenous population there “Red Indians” because real Indians were supposed to be darker in color.

The Portuguese who all of a sudden miraculously became masters in navigation finally reached true India and occupied some of its ports such as Madras. However, one day they found the courage to invade Yemen. They discovered that the softest point was Al-Shihir in today's Hadramawt,

(“Shihir” is a Himyarite word meaning overlooking the sea). There the battle raged for one week claiming many lives in addition to seven or ten community chieftains.

Some Yemenis joke at that by saying that the chieftains alone fought back the Portuguese while the normal people were kept at bay. Of course, this is untrue and it just shows how the community leaders were at the head of the fighting force, which was not supposed to be the case when it came to others, being put in the same situation. Anyhow, at the time Yemen as a whole was under the Turks who nominated a Hungarian Muslim as their Vali or Ruler of Yemen.

Captured Portuguese POWs were carried on camelback from Shihir to Sayun and from Sayun through Ramlat Al-Sabatain to Sana'a, where the Hungarian Ruler of Yemen at the time had to pass his ruling against his fellow Europeans.

The most famous yet the most hated man in the Arab World

Simply going through any Arab town or village you would notice the name of Sharon being written by children in places where it could be tread on and degraded e.g. on asphalt roads, dirty lavatories and trash containers in consequence of his heinous crimes against Arabs, namely Palestinians but at the same time, he still occupies the first rank in notoriety and so by far and large he is the most famous in the Arab world than any other Arab leader or celebrity despite his ill-repute.

Crying Over Spilt Milk:

Yemenis, particularly politicians or journalists coming from the south after fifteen years from the reunification of Yemen, have just awoken from their state of unconsciousness and realized all of a sudden after oil discoveries in the south that they were wrong to join up with the most populated North and would have been far well off living alone in their cute PDRY. Of course, this is true now that the oil is discovered but before that, they wear dying in eagerness to reunite with the North, so it is their fault for it was they who sought for a catholic marriage and it would be wise on their part to shut their mouths and stop being irresponsible and stupid. Now, they should speak on behalf of all Yemenis, better for them and us.