Sending Yemeni students overseas: scholarships or ordeals [Archives:2008/1176/Opinion]

July 28 2008

Hamza Abbas Al-Qirshi
I don't suspect that there is a state mastering humiliation of its students overseas like ours does. Yemeni students sent abroad with the purpose of completing their higher studies face multiple problems and difficulties, which one may not expect or imagine. Such problems begin and end within the premises of our government's embassies and consulates that are supposed to work on overcoming any obstacles facing their citizens, as well as contribute to resolving problems experienced by their subjects in the various countries.

This is what we know about the majority of Arab states' embassies, except for Yemen's, as they care a lot about serving their subjects in other nations.

Yemeni government's embassies change scholarships into ordeals, of which the hardship are suffered the most by native students sent to continue their higher studies. These students don't complain of the delay of financial entitlements accrued to them only. Furthermore, they suffer another problem related with deducting certain amounts from their entitlements in some of their government's consulates. Here, I talk about Yemeni government's consulates in general and its consulate in Berlin, Germany in particular.

As a result, Yemeni students sent to study overseas turn to be a symbol of sit-ins and protests in front of their embassies. They waste much of their valuable time, supposed to be spent on studies, in staging sit-ins, pursuing complicated procedures and claiming their rights. Even worse, they don't escape humiliations like what happened to one of them at the Yemeni Consulate based in Berlin, which has become a symbol for dictatorship. Any student, who dares to claim his rights, faces threats that all his financial entitlements will be wholly suspended.

Threatened to be coerced to beg:

Humiliation suffered by overseas students reached the extent of threats saying to them: “We will make you beg livelihood”. So, which humiliation will be worse than this, what a kind of atmosphere these students will live, which scientific acquisition we should talk about if this is the way Yemeni students overseas are treated by their government's embassies and consulates.

I don't know how these students can learn as they found themselves between ignorance of the Ministry of Education and irresponsible and dishonest officials, who exploit their powers to embezzle any money accrued to them.

At this point, I don't file my charges randomly and anyone who is cynical about this issue should ask these scholars sent to Germany.

The surprising thing is that officials in the Ministry of Education know about these practices and never pay attention to them as if this doesn't concern them.

If officials inside the country behave this way, it becomes impossible for one to imagine that those diplomats serving abroad will be responsible and honest.

All these ordeals negatively affect the main objective why a Yemeni student is sent to study overseas. Those humble students remain concerned about how to secure their livelihood, particularly as many of them were not allowed to continue their courses in language institutes for being unable to settle fees.

A Yemeni student studying in Europe or elsewhere has become a source of bathos and sympathy, thereby helping them get discounts from educational institutions where they are enrolled after officials of these institutions realize their hard economic conditions.