Sana’a prepares for 2004 as Arab culture capital,Mayor proves dexterous in managing work, finishing projects [Archives:2003/647/Reportage]

July 3 2003
Mr. Ahmed al-Kuhlani
Mr. Ahmed al-Kuhlani
Face-lifting campaigns in full swing in the capital
Face-lifting campaigns in full swing in the capital
Mahyoub Al-Kamaly
Yemen's capital Sana'a is preparing for receiving the year 2004 as a different occasion for it is to be declared as capital of the Arab culture. Preparations are performed under leadership of the minister of state, the Mayor of Sana'a Ahmed al-Kuhlani.
For this purpose, Mr al-Kuhlani is leading around the clock effort of his staff to render the city of Sana'a into a civilized image of a town bearing all aspects of advanced infrastructure. Mr al-Kuhlani had two years ago assumed the post of Sana'a Mayoralty at a time when the city looked lacking of many things to be described as modern city and capital of a country used to be cradle of various reputed Arab civilizations. Many of its areas looked more like ruins. By will and hard work he restored to the city its civilized image and managed to achieve many service and development accomplishments for the welfare of its population. Mr al-Kuhlani has therefore won voices of voters in his constituency so that to be re-elected to the parliament and then to be chosen minister of state and Mayor of Sana'a.
People of the capital say al-Kuhlani has restored to Sana'a it civilized bright image with the same potentials that had been available for those who preceded him to this post. He has followed well-studied scientific methods for upgrading service projects. People describe him as the honest man. The people have their own reasons for conferring this characteristic on him.
– First of all he has good efficiency in keeping safe the public property and sound planning of the capital projects and implementing them by depending on the national cadre with some help of foreign expertise.
-He displays strong keenness on the reputation of his responsibility as Mayor and that always urged him to achieving successes of projects and works to be implemented under his authority. He has succeeded extensively in the execution of the capital street paving projects and bridging the gap of services offered to the well-to-do and the poor people's residential quarters.
– His modesty in carrying out his responsibilities has pushed him to the uniform put on by cleaning workers and wandering among them. That in itself urged them to work hard especially in cleaning the streets and residential quarters from garbage without any delay, using the latest means to accomplish their tasks.
– Another reason making people describe him as the honest is that he has always worked for ensuring sewage services to all quarters of the capital and also services of water and electricity.
Those who are close to Mr al-Kuhlani at the Mayoralty confirm that his success in his responsibilities is attributed also to his rejection of traditional means of administration based on punishment without rewarding those who are sincere in carrying out their duties, and also for his abstention from having access to the public property and refusal of bribes and leniency at the expense of fulfilling duties. They also say h has changed the streets into workshops, provided job opportunities for the unemployed, redistribution of telephone lines among the residents and building bridges upon modern bases.
Mayor al-Kuhlani has restored to the capitalist civilized image and hope is high in his present efforts for building public parks, cultural clubs and landmarks for culture and tourism in order to make the capital matching to the most beautiful Arab cities.
Traffic policemen think that the regular and organized makeshift parking lots made under directives of the mayor Kuhlani have helped overcome traffic congestions and reduced traffic accidents and made traffic inside the city easier.
On the other hand Mr. Kuhlani worked for organizing local markets by building popular marketplaces for selling clothes, fruits and vegetables and others for used selling goods, which used to be deforming the image of the capital and cause crowd in its main streets. His efforts have also produced good results in cooperation with the local council in preparing schools and encouraging folklore professions so that to preserve the city of old Sana'a to be a tourist landmark, particularly for foreign tourists. Even businessmen are happy with by the Kuhlani measures and efforts exerted for the development and innovation of the capital. All kinds of services have reached them and therefore their profits increased and they are managing their commercial businesses easier.
Mr Kuhlani is one official who attracted the respect and appreciation of people when he worked and cooperated with them to make the few and modest potentialities available for the mayoralty an infrastructure capable to be useful for demonstrating the city of Sana'a, a capital for the Arab culture in 2004. Yemen is in dire need for men like him for achieving a sustainable economic development.
When Mr Kuhlani was first appointed as Mayor two years ago many thought he would fail in his task and some expressed skepticism in his abilities. The responsibility was hard especially that he assumed his post at a time when conditions were deteriorated. Now it is not an easy task to hold comparison between the situation of Sana'a before the time of Mr. Kuhlani and the present. He managed in a record short span of time to draw the features of his achievements and responded to remarks published in local press by translating them into practices on the ground. The capital Sana'a is verily living the time of Mr al-Kuhlani. People cite al-Kuhlani work and other governors in the country may be are envying him. They may possess bigger potentials but they are incapable probably because of shortcomings in their administrations.