Sa’ada and other peculiarities [Archives:2007/1052/Opinion]

May 21 2007

“Look Sa'eed, you can't continue screaming about the situation in the country like that without soon getting nabbed” said the mother as she kept sifting through the closet by the door to the living room.

“But Mother, doesn't the situation in Yemen gives you the jitters? We simply do not know what direction the country is heading to with all these peculiarities taken hold of the state of affairs. We have open warfare in the Governorate of Sa'ada with casualties in the tens if not hundreds on a daily basis and the new Cabinet was oblivious to this tragedy to the point of ignoring it in the Government Program of Prime Minister Mujawwar, notwithstanding the hundreds of millions of Riyals expended daily on the war. Did you know that Sa'ada is reaching the magnitude of the situation in Iraq, in terms of the number of casualties and the heavy loss of resources being wasted? The antagonists are Yemenis against Yemenis and there are cloudy suggestions of external interference, but no one knows to what extent, except that Al-Thoury Newspaper notes that the Government forces are obtaining their food rations in canned food emanating from Saudi factories. It is amazing that our country should be concerned about the situation of African Moslems to the point of urging our schoolchildren to collect donations on their behalf. But what would happen if any of them raise the slightest cry for the sad plight of the civilians of Sa'ada, who are being strangled by an official siege and a blockade of all things coming and going out of the unfortunate forgotten province in all the official development programs, except those associated with the spread of the Salafi or Wahhabi sect? By the way, I got to hand it to the Al-Thoury Newspaper for presenting a very vivid picture from the inside of the war ravaged area that has now spread throughout the province and led to the creation of close to 100,000 civilian refugees who cannot understand the logic of why the Government would want to destroy their lives for no apparent reason to them. The reporter, whose name is Abed Al-Mahthary ([email protected]) and who is risking his life to give the world this vivid picture of the awesome and sometime gruesome picture of how Yemenis unleash their barbarity against each other really deserves a Pulitzer Prize. Someone ought to translate those articles so that the rest of the world gets an idea of the hopelessness and the misery that the people of Sa'ada must confront because there are so many in the establishment who see profit in war and wealth in Yemenis killing each other for the most mediocre of reasons. When will all this tragedy come to a close?”

“This is not just a tragedy for the people of Sa'ada, but for all of Yemen!” said Furdoos, as she takes her seat in the living room near her brother trying to get a look at the article that her brother is reading.

Sa'eed remarked: “This is the third article I have read by this journalist, about the situation in Sa'ada and I have to hand it to the Yemeni Socialist Party, when they want to get something out to the public, they know how to overcome all the obstacles that are put out by the Government to prevent the public from knowing anything about a certain situation.”

“What about the contributions for Africa's Moslems?” asked the mother, continuing, “Your younger brother today asked for a YR 1000 donation, which was being solicited in his school.

“That is our government for you!” said Furdoos, in amazement she continues, “How kind and considerate of our government to worry about the plight of African Moslems and allow the phony promoters of these causes to go throughout our schools , while they prevent the Red Cross and Red Crescent from delivering aid to the civilians or the injured in the War in Sa'ada. Whose leg are the officials in Yemen pulling? Civil society in Yemen is being misused to sidetrack our concern for the people of Sa'ada to look at the situation in Dharfur, the Congo, Swaziland and other tragic spots in Africa, while our own people are allowed to bleed to death, without so much as a band aid getting to them. What will our bloodthirsty war merchants come up with next? These phony organizations that seek to turn away our eyes and our pockets from giving help to our own victims of persecution are really as treasonous as the war merchants that stand behind them, who will no doubt not forget to take their cut out of these dubious campaigns to aid Moslems everywhere else except in Yemen!”

Hassan Al-Haifi has been a Yemeni political economist and journalist for more than 20 years.